Document Type

Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Report

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Global and regional climate patterns suggest that future conditions in the western United States will be warmer and drier. Changing climatic conditions are predicted to impact ecosystems on many levels including at a population level. Decreases in population distribution and sizes have the potential to disrupt community and species diversity. Insects are particularly useful organisms to study because of their shorter life spans and sensitivity to changes environmental conditions. We expanded on previous population studies of a butterfly species, Parnassius clodius, located in Grand Teton National Park using mark-recapture techniques. We collected data to assess population size and sex ration on one particular population located in the park. Using mark-recapture techniques, we were able to collect data to assess population numbers, total number of males and females, sex rations and number of mated versus unmated females throughout the flight season. Here we compiled information about this population to provide benchmark information for this species and its population dynamics. The combined population data will be further used to study how changing climatic conditions have affected this population throughout the study years. The results will be valuable for understanding the population and also for understanding potential climate-related impacts on butterfly populations in other locations.