Contributions of Citizen Scientists and Habitat Volunteers to Monarch Butterfly Conservation

Eva J. Lewandowski, Karen S. Oberhauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Volunteers can contribute to wildlife conservation by protecting and restoring habitat, or by collecting citizen science data. Much remains unknown about how citizen scientists contribute to conservation beyond data collection, or the extent that volunteering with citizen science or habitat conservation is associated with increased participation in other forms of conservation. We surveyed citizen science and habitat volunteers from monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) programs. Both types of volunteers conducted conservation outreach and created and managed monarch habitat. Habitat volunteers were more likely to create new habitat for monarchs in urban or suburban areas, whereas citizen scientists were more likely to maintain existing habitat in rural areas. Most volunteers increased their participation in conservation after joining a formal monarch project. Our results provide information about the capacity for habitat volunteers to engage in conservation, as well as evidence of an unexplored benefit of citizen science, the creation and protection of habitat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-70
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Dimensions of Wildlife
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

Keywords

  • Citizen science
  • conservation education
  • habitat conservation
  • public participation
  • volunteers

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