Evaluating the use of Highway Corridors by Monarch Butterflies.
Wildlife & Ecosystems
Research Idea Scope
The study would determine if Monarchs are attracted to vegetation within highway rights-of-way, if this attraction is due to milkweed species being present, and would estimate roadside mortality. Tasks required include establishing transects or plots along highways across Arkansas, collecting presence and absence data for milkweed species and estimating roadside mortality of Monarch butterflies for 2-3 seasons.
Urgency and Payoff
This project would help determine if DOTs could plant milkweeds along highway corridors without further contributing to the declining Monarch population. This research is important because of the potential listing of the Monarch as a federally threatened or endangered species affects all of the lower 48 states. The Monarch Butterfly was petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act on August 26th, 2014.
Kayti Ewing Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department 501-569-2083