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1/ Thank you @row1960 (@CdnPress) for your article (globalnews.ca/news/4927062/u…) raising awareness about monarch butterfly conservation in Canada. I wanted to share with you some of the amazing work & science that is taking place in Canada to conserve the monarch butterfly
2/ Canada is home to some of the world’s leading monarch conservation science experts, e.g., @NorrisLab @TylerFlockhart @EspacePourLaVie, @alanaaewilcox, @jetkerr @hkharouba @TaraLCrewe. This is something we should be proud of & celebrate.
3/ In fact, @ECCCSciTech scientist Keith Hobson pioneered the technique that we use to determine where monarchs on the wintering grounds originated from in the US and Canada using a chemical marker in the wings (isotopes; PNAS 95:15436-15439)
4/ Scientists from the US, Canada, & Mexico work closely together on shared conservation priorities through the Trinational Monarch Conservation Science Partnership
5/ For example, through the partnership’s work with the @CECWeb, we have recently funded multiple studies in northern Mexico to understand migration corridors & the importance of nectar flowers. All three countries agreed this was a huge data gap
6/ Through our @CECWeb, project we also funded an #opendata web portal in all three official languages to help share and monarch information more easily between the three countries (birdscanada.org/birdmon/tmkn/m…)
7/ Scientists at the @EspacePourLaVie Insectarium have developed our primary citizen science monarch & milkweed monitoring tools, like Mission Monarch (mission-monarch.org). Citizens have a huge role to play in the conservation of monarchs in Canada
8/ @EspacePourLaVie & @MySonyacharest others also deliver educational programming to the public to foster an appreciation for monarchs (and all insects) in Canada
9/ Your article touched on roadside planting of milkweed: @NorrisLab & @TylerFlockhart are doing research to understand how mowing effects milkweed (the only plant monarchs breed on) & working with industry partners. They also looked at preference of milkweed across habitats
10/ @NorrisLab, @TylerFlockhart, @alanaaewilcox are exploring the effects of pesticides on monarchs
11/ @hkharouba is investigating the effects of climate change on both milkweed & monarchs
12/ @EspacePourLaVie, @TaraLCrewe, & myself have explored how climate at different stages of migration affects how many butterflies we see in Canada & subsequently on the wintering grounds
13/ @ECCCSciTech is working closely with CWS to estimate the number of milkweed stems in Canada and with @NorrisLab @TylerFlockhart with isotopes to quantitatively evaluate if we are meeting our trinational obligation (Global Change Biol(2017), doi: 10.1111/gcb.13589
14/ @environmentca @environnementca have invested approx. 9.7 million dollars in 74 projects targeted at monarchs & pollinators since 2015
15/ I encourage you or any other media outlets to get in touch with some of these wonderful researchers to learn more about the hard work we ARE doing in Canada to help monarchs. Also check out namonarchs.org to find info on what we all can do to help the monarchs
I also should have included @rodrigo_mvz in this list of experts on twitter. 😀Rodriigo is investigating the factors affecting monarch population size but also human dimensions, e.g., how much is the public willing to invest in monarch conservation & what affects this number?
Also - huge shout out to citizen scientist extraordinaire @PeleeParadise who counts monarch @PointPeleeNP national park every fall. This data will/has proved immensely useful for assessing important roosting habitat & also the weather conditions monarchs prefer to migrate under.
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