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Schultz Research Group Conservation Biology

Biology and Conservation of At-Risk Butterflies


The success of conservation efforts often depends on whether details of the biology of species are overlooked or incorporated (Schultz & Crone 2008;mardon-by-erica1 Schultz, Russell & Wynn 2008). Yet, many details of biology of at-risk species are still unknown. Therefore, tackling the issue of documenting basic biology is a thread in many of our research projects (Schultz, Hammond & Wilson 2003; Wilson et al. 2003).

Work in our lab has focused on the following at-risk butterflies: mardon skipper (Beyer & Schultz 2010; Henry & Schultz 2013), Fender’s blue (Thomas & Schultz 2016), Puget blue, and Oregon silverspot. Recent work in the lab expands our work to western monarch and understanding the ecology of this widespread species which is currently in rapid decline across North America (Pelton et al. 2016; Schultz et al. 2017). In addition, we use this natural history research in combination with behavioral and demographic work to develop “rules of thumb” to advance species recovery (Schultz 2015; Schultz & Crone 2015)


Warchola, N., E. E. Crone, and C. B. Schultz. 2018. Balancing costs and benefits of fire for population viability of endangered butterflies. Journal of Applied Ecology 55:800-809.

Thomas, C. C., C. V. Tillberg, and C. B. Schultz 2020. Facultative mutualism increases survival of an endangered ant-tended butterfly. Journal of Insect Conservation. 24: 385-395

Pelton, E., S. Jepsen, C. B. Schultz, C. Fallon, and S. H. Black. 2016. State of the monarch butterfly overwintering sites in California. 40+vi pp. Portland, OR: The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. (Available online at

Schultz, C. B. and E. E. Crone. 2015. Using ecological theory to develop recovery criteria for an endangered butterfly. Journal of Applied Ecology 52:1111-1115.

Schultz, C. B. 2015. Flying towards recovery: conservation of Fender’s blue butterfly. News of the Lepidopterists’ Society 57:210-213.

Henry, E. H. and C. B. Schultz. 2013. A first step towards successful conservation: understanding local oviposition site selection of an imperiled butterfly, Mardon skipper. Journal of Insect Conservation 17:183-194.

Beyer, L. J. and C. B. Schultz. 2010. Oviposition selection by a rare grass skipper Polites mardon in montane habitats: advancing ecological understanding to develop conservation strategies. Biological Conservation 143:862-872.

Schultz, C. B. and E. E. Crone. 2008. Using ecological theory to advance butterfly conservation. Israel Journal of Ecology & Evolution 54:63-68.

Schultz, C. B., P. C. Hammond, and M. V. Wilson. 2003. Biology of the Fender’s blue butterfly (Icaricia icarioides fenderi Macy), an endangered species of western Oregon native prairies. Natural Areas Journal 23:61-71.

Schultz, C. B., E. Pelton, S. Jepsen, R. Hatfield, L. Brown, C. Fallon, and S. H. Black. In prep. Threats associated with western monarch decline. Insect Conservation and Diversity.

Schultz, C. B., L. Brown, E. Pelton, and E. E. Crone. 2017. Citizen science monitoring demonstrates dramatic declines of monarch butterflies in western North America. Biological ConservationIn press.

Schultz, C. B., C. Russell, and L. Wynn. 2008. Restoration, reintroduction and captive propagation efforts for at-risk butterflies: a review. Invited submission to Israel Journal of Ecology and Evoluation for special issue on Butterfly Conservation, 54:41-61.

Thomas, R. C. and C. B. Schultz. 2016. Resource selection in an endangered butterfly: Females select native nectar species. Journal of Wildlife Management 80:171-180.

Wilson, M. V., T. Erhart, P. C. Hammond, T. N. Kaye, K. Kuykendall, A. Liston, A. F. Robinson, C. B. Schultz, and P. M. Severns. 2003. The biology of Kincaid’s lupine (Lupinus sulphureus spp. kincaidii), a threatened species of western Oregon native prairies. Natural Areas Journal 23:72-83.