This week, James Clarke from Statistics will be talking on the subject of “Modelling butterfly adult lifespans using citizen-science count data”.
Abstract: “Over the past four decades, three-quarters of UK butterfly species have declined in abundance, distribution or both. Butterflies respond quickly to habitat and climatic change, hence their population status is a valuable biodiversity indicator. Analysis of long-term butterfly monitoring datasets has provided some of the world’s best evidence of the biological impacts of climate change, including major shifts in distribution and seasonal emergence, evolutionary responses and the impacts of extreme events. Butterfly lifespans have the potential to be a useful conservation status indicator for butterfly species, with those with shorter lifespans more susceptible to temporal fragmentation, and, therefore, are of greater extinction risk. In this study we are aiming to validate the use of the Generalized Abundance Index, developed by Dennis et al. 2016 (Biometrics), to provide lifespan estimates using long-term citizen science count data. These data are currently analysed in a weekly format. We will determine if lifespan estimates can be improved by accounting for daily level information. This analysis will allow us to determine the influence of lifespan on butterfly population trends and, therefore, which species require increased conservation effort.”