Do Healthy Monarchs Migrate Farther? Tracking Natal Origins of Parasitized vs. Uninfected Monarch Butterflies Overwintering in Mexico

Metadata Updated: December 11, 2019

Long-distance migration can lower parasite prevalence if strenuous journeys remove infected animals from wild populations. We examined wild monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) to investigate the potential costs of the protozoan Ophryocystis elektroscirrha on migratory success. We collected monarchs from two wintering sites in central Mexico to compare infection status with hydrogen isotope (δ2H) measurements as an indicator of latitude of origin at the start of fall migration. On average, uninfected monarchs had lower δ2H values than parasitized butterflies, indicating that uninfected butterflies originated from more northerly latitudes and travelled farther distances to reach Mexico. Within the infected class, monarchs with higher quantitative spore loads originated from more southerly latitudes, indicating that heavily infected monarchs originating from farther north are less likely to reach Mexico. We ruled out the alternative explanation that lower latitudes give rise to more infected monarchs prior to the onset of migration using citizen science data to examine regional differences in parasite prevalence during the summer breeding season. We also found a positive association between monarch wing area and estimated distance flown. Collectively, these results emphasize that seasonal migrations can help lower infection levels in wild animal populations. Our findings, combined with recent declines in the numbers of migratory monarchs wintering in Mexico and observations of sedentary (winter breeding) monarch populations in the southern U.S., suggest that shifts from migratory to sedentary behavior will likely lead to greater infection prevalence for North American monarchs.

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Restricted: This dataset can only be accessed or used under certain conditions. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.
The information resource is proprietary and/or copyrighted. Access to this information by the public is very limited. Please contact the associated Point of Contact regarding additional use constraints and requirements for obtaining the information.

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References

https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/Reference/Profile/73450

Dates

Metadata Created Date December 11, 2019
Metadata Updated Date December 11, 2019

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI CKAN Harvest Source

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date December 11, 2019
Metadata Updated Date December 11, 2019
Publisher Fish and Wildlife Service
Unique Identifier FWS_ServCat_73450
Maintainer
Brent Frakes
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level restricted public
Bureau Code 010:18
Metadata Context https://project-open-data.cio.gov/v1.1/schema/catalog.jsonld
Metadata Catalog ID C:\Program Files (x86)\FWS\DataStore\Application\OpenData\FWS_ServCat_v1_1.json
Schema Version https://project-open-data.cio.gov/v1.1/schema
Catalog Describedby https://project-open-data.cio.gov/v1.1/schema/catalog.json
Data Quality true
Harvest Object Id 38167e8e-3b68-431c-8754-570b8252e08f
Harvest Source Id 34ce571b-cb98-4e0b-979f-30f9ecc452c5
Harvest Source Title DOI CKAN Harvest Source
Data First Published 2015-11-25
Homepage URL https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/Reference/Profile/73450
Data Last Modified 2015-11-25
Program Code 010:094, 010:028
Related Documents "https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/Reference/Profile/73450"
Rights The information resource is proprietary and/or copyrighted. Access to this information by the public is very limited. Please contact the associated Point of Contact regarding additional use constraints and requirements for obtaining the information.
Source Datajson Identifier true
Source Hash 960dbb5d60bd88b1eee48e6c551c39e161d01f37
Source Schema Version 1.1
Category "Published Report"

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