The decline of the eastern population of the migratory monarch has become a topic of great concern, but has been based entirely on patterns observed in overwinter colony sizes. Less attention has been paid to population trends during other phases of the migratory cycle. Here, we present an analysis of trends using three monitoring programs, one focused on overwinter colony size and two focused on summer breeding grounds. We discovered an alarming steepening in the decline of winter colony size since 2008. However, population indices from two independent summer monitoring programs were characterized by high year-to-year variability and no statistically detectable trends over time. Despite the mismatch in summer and winter patterns, there is still an association between the yearly fluctuations between these key periods, suggesting a link in population dynamics throughout the year. Further, a suggestion of a downturn near the end of the summer time-series should be carefully tracked into the future. We discuss two possible reasons for this disconnect: 1) higher levels of variance or possibly biased sampling could weaken any statistical signal, and 2) losses during fall migration could potentially contribute to overwinter declines.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.