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Butterfly Effect: Dan Marschalek is More Than a Collector

Protecting Our Pollinators

Dan Marschalek marks a Regal Fritillary butterfly with a felt tip pen at the Friendly Prairie conservation area near Sedalia.
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Dan Marschalek’s fascination with butterflies began innocently enough. He just wanted to collect as many different types as possible.

Then he learned the crucial role butterflies play as pollinators in sustaining life as we know it.

Today, he is an associate professor of insect ecology at the University of Central Missouri.

“I think we take for granted that the insects are there doing their job,” Marschalek said. “But now we’re realizing that their decline is potentially putting those ecosystem functions at risk.”

Watch the attached video as Marschalek goes on a hunt for the Regal Fritillary, a gorgeous but declining butterfly, in the Friendly Prairie conservation area near Sedalia. Marschalek regards such butterflies as “canaries in the coal mine” in terms of ecological sustainability. 

To learn more about what you can do to help sustain the butterfly population, read the story below.

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