September: Backyard butterflies – Evaluating monarch-parasite interactions across an urban landscape
Join us September 19 when Kelsey Deal will be the guest speaker at the Oklahoma City Audubon Society meeting.
Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) populations in North America have experienced significant declines over the past two decades and this species is currently being considered for listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Their remarkable migration spanning up to 3000 miles has been identified as an endangered biological phenomenon. Several factors have contributed to the monarch’s decline, including habitat loss and natural predators. Kelsey Deal, a master’s student in the Department of Integrative Biology at Oklahoma State University, focuses her research on monarch-parasite interactions in urban areas. Examining how landscape characteristics and environmental factors influence monarch-milkweed-parasite interactions will provide insights into the contribution of urban areas to supporting the monarch population, with important implications for urban wildlife ecology and conservation. Kelsey is primarily interested in the use of butterfly gardens and other urban green spaces to create important habitat for pollinators and other native wildlife.
Kelsey received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Baylor University. She has recently presented her work on monarch parasitism at the Oklahoma Natural Resources Conference and the Oklahoma Biodiversity Network. She is scheduled to present her findings at the upcoming International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, Florida.
Our meetings are held September through June on the third Monday of each month (with the exception of January, when the meeting is held on the fourth Monday). They begin at 7 p.m. Visitors are always welcome.
New Meeting Location:
While the Garden Center is undergoing renovations, we will meet at the Will Rogers Senior Activities Center, 3501 Pat Murphy Dr, in Will Rogers Park. We are scheduled to meet in the Senior Activities Center through Feb. 2017 at this time. That is if the renovation finishes on time.
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Adopt-A-Park at Prairie Dog Point
The members of the Oklahoma City Audubon Society have adopted Prairie Dog Point at Oklahoma City’s Lake Hefner by participating in Oklahoma City Beautiful’s Adopt-A-Park program. Our commitment to the program is for assistance in litter management. The Parks department has responded to our request to have additional trash cans placed around the area to help keep the area clean.
Prairie Dog Point is located at the southwest corner of Lake Hefner. It attracts diverse species of birds throughout the seasons and is especially popular with birders during the spring and fall shorebird migrations. In addition to contributing to the beautification of our community, our participation in the program allows us to promote the area as a location of interest to birders, perhaps helping to avoid further habitat loss. Everyone is invited to participate in our Adopt-A-Park project by picking up litter during birding trips to the Point.
2015 Christmas Bird Count numbers
During the Oklahoma City Christmas Bird Count for 2015, a total of 116 species were observed on count day. Click here to view the list.
The Oklahoma City Audubon Society is neither a chapter of, nor affiliated with, the National Audubon Society.