University of Minnesota

Monarchs in a Changing World: Biology and Conservation of an Iconic Butterfly

Posted on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 1:06 pm in Monarch Conservation

Monarchs in a Changing World: Biology and Conservation of an Iconic Butterfly is now available for purchase! Edited by renowned monarch experts Karen S. Oberhauser, Kelly R. Nail, and Sonia Altizer, Monarchs in a Changing World is a must have for all monarch enthusiasts. 

Monarch butterflies are among the most popular insect species in the world and are an icon for conservation groups and environmental education programs. Monarch caterpillars and adults are easily recognizable as welcome visitors to gardens in North America and beyond, and their spectacular migration in eastern North America (from breeding locations in Canada and the United States to overwintering sites in Mexico) has captured the imagination of the public.

Monarch migration, behavior, and chemical ecology have been studied for decades. Yet many aspects of monarch biology have come to light in only the past few years. These aspects include questions regarding large-scale trends in monarch population sizes, monarch interactions with pathogens and insect predators, and monarch molecular genetics and large-scale evolution. A growing number of current research findings build on the observations of citizen scientists, who monitor monarch migration, reproduction, survival, and disease. Monarchs face new threats from humans as they navigate a changing landscape marked by deforestation, pesticides, genetically modified crops, and a changing climate, all of which place the future of monarchs and their amazing migration in peril.

To meet the demand for a timely synthesis of monarch biology, conservation and outreach, Monarchs in a Changing World summarizes recent developments in scientific research, highlights challenges and responses to threats to monarch conservation, and showcases the many ways that monarchs are used in citizen science programs, outreach, and education. It examines issues pertaining to the eastern and western North American migratory populations, as well as to monarchs in South America, the Pacific and Caribbean Islands, and Europe. The target audience includes entomologists, population biologists, conservation policymakers, and K–12 teachers.

Order the book here:

Excerpt taken from Cornell University Press

Expert Reviews taken from Cornell University Press

"Few other species capture the imagination and provide fodder for knowledge and innovation like the monarch. Monarchs in a Changing World is a beautiful illustration of both."—Jessica Hellmann, University of Notre Dame


"Monarchs in a Changing World summarizes work that reinforces, extends, and ameliorates our understanding of the biology of the monarch butterfly, with a particular focus on key research, conservation, and outreach efforts that aim to preserve this species, its range and habitats, and its awe-inspiring long-distance migration in eastern North America. This book presents a variety of interesting and thought-provoking topics to readers. They range from studies on the population
 dynamics and ecology of monarchs in different areas around the globe to current and ongoing conservation and management efforts that span personal, local, state, national, and international boundaries. This book will serve as the key resource for those people interested in using monarch butterflies as a model organism in citizen science, science literacy, and environmental education programs."—Steven M. Reppert, MD, Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology and Higgins Family Professor of Neuroscience, University of Massachusetts Medical School

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