ErikAgar/iStock(PORTLAND, Ore.) — The number of monarch butterflies wintering in California remains at a critically low level, according to a new study.The total number of monarchs observed this year during The Xerces Society Thanksgiving count was 29,418, according a press release issued Thursday by the nonprofit, which focuses on conserving invertebrates.While that number is slightly higher than the 2018-2019 count — which saw an all-time low of 27,218 — the organization warned that this year’s numbers “are no better.”This year’s results came amid a greater survey effort and more volunteers visiting more sites, according to the nonprofit.“We had hoped that the western monarch population would have rebounded at least modestly, but unfortunately it has not,” Emma Pelton, the Xerces Society’s western monarch lead, said in a statement.In 1997 there were more than 1.2 million monarch butterflies wintering along the California coast.Pelton said the silver lining was that the population didn’t shrink any further.“We can take heart that it’s not too late to act,” she said.For decades, monarch butterflies in the West have been in decline because of loss of habitat, including destruction of their California wintering sites and loss of milkweed for caterpillars and flowering resources to fuel migration.At least 21 wintering sites in California have been “significantly damaged or destroyed” by the construction of housing developments and cutting down of trees, according to The Xerces Society.Monarch butterflies return to the same sites, often the same trees, every fall for wintering.Climate change has also been a factor in changing the biodiversity in California. Lowering carbon footprints and adopting nature-based climate solutions for pollinators and other wildlife are needed, environmentalists say.The Xerxes Society urged lawmakers on both a state and federal level to address the issue.“We must protect all remaining overwintering sites in order to save our monarchs,” Sarina Jepsen, director of the Xerces Society’s Endangered Species and Aquatics Program, said.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Help everyone grow the skills to be chair.by: Les Wallace, Ph.D.In general I don’t recommend supporting any candidate for your board who you don’t believe could be chair. That’s a tall order, but also a helpful screen.Board officer leadership is a foundation for effective governance, yet one of the least-attended-to governance development domains. In the for-profit sector, the topic is gaining greater attention. In the not-for-profit sector, development offerings for specific board officers are rare. In the credit union space, officer development has been mostly barren until CUES’ Board Chair Development Seminar was introduced. (The next installment will be held in March in New Orleans.)Because many CU board members do not have prior board experience, they haven’t had good officer role models. Serving as the chair of a board (or vice-chair or secretary and so on) is not a “natural” leadership role like being a credit union manager or CEO. Serving as a board officer demands a servant leadership approach, a quiet influencing hand and a strong will when confronting aberrant board behavior.Chairs must be able to adeptly navigate some specific governance processes if they are to help the board be both efficient and effective. Here is just a sample of the domains of responsibility a board chair might be accountable for: driving high-performance governance; keeping track of board duties and putting them on the calendar; agenda setting; committee accountability; CEO partnership; meeting management/facilitation; government relations/advocacy; governance assessment; and handling feedback to board members from members at large. continue reading »