Evaluating the Suitability of Roadway Corridors for Use by Monarch Butterflies

In response to the decline of critical pollinators, including butterflies, a presidential memorandum entitled, “Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators,” established the Pollinator Health Task Force, of which the U.S. Department of Transportation is a member. The monarch butterfly is found throughout the lower 48 states, Hawaii, southern Canada, and northern South America. Because of its large bright orange and black-patterned wings and its migration path spanning much of the northwestern hemisphere, its decline has been more noticeable than most other pollinators. This butterfly has experienced a precipitous population decline. Thus, it is under review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for listing as a threatened species (a decision is anticipated by June 30, 2019). The reasons for its decline listed in scientific and popular science literature include: habitat and food source loss, invasive plant species that outcompete milkweed, pesticide use, and illegal logging in its very limited overwintering grounds. There is a need to study the relationship between roadside habitat and the various life stages of monarch butterflies as one of the proactive conservation strategies for the species. The objective of this research is to develop and validate a methodology for transportation practitioners to determine if roadway corridors are sources or sinks (beneficial or detrimental) to the monarch butterfly and how to maximize the beneficial aspects and minimize the detrimental impacts.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $350000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-119

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Rogers, William

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Minnesota, St. Paul

    St. Paul, MN  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Oberhauser, Karen

  • Start Date: 20170313
  • Expected Completion Date: 20190913
  • Actual Completion Date: 20190913
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40856

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01599005
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-119
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: May 12 2016 1:00AM