UW Ar­bore­tum joins con­ser­va­tion co-op to pro­tect the mon­archs

Wisconsin Gazette - - News -

The first ar­bore­tum to part­ner with the Monarch Joint Ven­ture is at the Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin–Madi­son.

The ar­bore­tum has joined more than 70 in­sti­tu­tions in the ven­ture ded­i­cated to re­search­ing monarch but­ter­flies, con­serv­ing their habi­tat and ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple about the charis­matic in­sects.

Ar­bore­tum di­rec­tor Karen Ober­hauser, a lead­ing monarch re­searcher, co-founded the Monarch Joint Ven­ture while at the Univer­sity of Min­nesota and is cur­rently co-chair of the ven­ture’s steer­ing com­mit­tee.

She says the UW ar­bore­tum is a nat­u­ral fit to join the fed­eral and state agen­cies, non­govern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions, and aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions co­op­er­at­ing to pro­tect the mon­archs.

“It’s a per­fect part­ner­ship — the ar­bore­tum works on all ar­eas of the MJV’s con­ser­va­tion plan with our con­ser­va­tion ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams, habi­tat con­ser­va­tion ac­tions, and re­search,” Ober­hauser said.

The part­ners col­lab­o­rate on a con­ser­va­tion plan each year to es­tab­lish pol­li­na­tor­friendly habi­tat, pro­vide ed­u­ca­tional re­sources and iden­tify threats to monarch pop­u­la­tions.

“The UW-Madi­son Ar­bore­tum in­her­ited an as­tound­ing leader in monarch con­ser­va­tion, Dr. Karen Ober­hauser,” said Wendy Caldwell, MJV co­or­di­na­tor. “Karen’s his­tory with monarch con­ser­va­tion and the strength and foun­da­tion of the ar­bore­tum and its pro­grams will be an in­cred­i­ble as­set to the MJV.”

Ober­hauser said the new part­ner­ship is a for­mal recog­ni­tion of ef­forts al­ready un­der­way at the ar­bore­tum.

“When we pre­serve habi­tat for mon­archs and ed­u­cate peo­ple about what they can do for mon­archs, we’re re­ally do­ing things for a lot of other species at the same time,” Ober­hauser said. — Lisa Neff

PHOTO: PIXABAY

A monarch but­ter­fly. An an­nual count of mon­archs re­leased in Fe­bru­ary 2017 con­firmed but­ter­fly num­bers fell by nearly a third in 2016. Sci­en­tists also re­ported in 2017 the pop­u­la­tion was down by 27 per­cent from the pre­vi­ous year, and down by more than...

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