Iowa State University Researchers Are Helping Preserve Monarch Butterfly Populations

In *All by Ag is America

Iowa State University scientists are working to advance research of monarch butterfly ecology. This research is being funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Pollinator Health Program to help researchers develop landscape-scale models of monarch movement and track the population responses.

The project’s goal is to develop practical strategies for increasing the habitat of the monarch butterfly to work in combination with state crop and livestock production. The project also will determine how pesticides use in these crop fields may impact monarch survival and reproduction in habitat located near field borders. The model they develop will support conservation planning at county, state and regional scales.

Researchers will use female butterflies tethered to instruments and radio telemetry to measure the ability of monarchs to perceive and go to milkweed and flowering plants, which is where monarchs lay eggs and feed. The results from the research help determine how monarch populations impacted if habitats are planted near crop fields as compared to a conservation plan where no new habitat is established near field borders.

 To learn more about this research from Iowa State University, read more here.

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