Conservation Partners connecting working lands conservation from the Gulf of Mexico to the High Plains with the vision of a sustainable landscape of natural resources resilient to the threats and stressors associated with our changing world.

(903) 570-9626
Conservation Coordinator 

    Texas Blue Bonnets

    Texas Blue Bonnets
    Bill Bartush

Pollinators in Texas

Formal Title: Pollinators in Texas

Research Focus:

Conservation & Management Challenges:

The decline in the monarch butterfly has led to it being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Declines in managed and native bees have also been documented, leading to increased concerns about bee populations and communities, as well as the availability of pollination services for crops and native plants. Similar factors have been identified in the decline of monarchs, native bees, and other pollinators, including habitat fragmentation, loss, and degradation (including milkweed loss for monarchs), and disease/predation, as well as climate change, weather extremes, invasive species, and pesticides. Texas is part of the Southwest breeding region for monarchs, which supports approximately 11% of the population that overwinters in Mexico.  It also forms the southern end of the Monarch Central Flyway in the U.S., which has been identified by the Monarch Joint Venture as a high priority for habitat restoration efforts, including the addition of at least 1 to 1.5 billion milkweed stems and abundant nectar resources to support monarch reproduction and migration.  

With the extensive loss and fragmentation of native grasslands, managed grasslands are becoming increasingly important for supporting conservation efforts. Managed grasslands have the potential to provide floral resources for monarchs and other pollinators, as well as host plants (milkweeds) for monarchs and nest sites (e.g., undisturbed soil, woody or pithy stems, tree cavities) for native bees. However, few baseline data exist for this region, making it challenging to assess the value of ongoing conservation efforts for monarchs and other pollinators.

Research Overview:

Conduct surveys of milkweed, monarch butterfly populations, and associated habitat characteristics congruent with the National Monarch Monitoring Protocol (MMP) and as developed by mutual agreement between the principal investigator and the designated Technical Review Team (TRT) for the project.  Specifically:

Results:

Datasets and project records catalogued on Sciencebase: https://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/item/596fffe2e4b0d1f9f06462e1

Status:

This is a 2-year project scheduled for completion in December 2018.  The Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative is funding this project.

Contacts:

Principal Investigator: Janis Bush, University of Texas at San Antonio, janis.bush@utsa.edu

 

Landscape Conservation Cooperative Point-of-Contact: Bill Bartush, Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative, National Wetlands Research Center, 700 Cajundome Boulevard, Lafayette, LA 70506  

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