From July 28 to August 5, 2018, citizens from Canada, the United States and Mexico are invited to participate in the second International Monarch Monitoring Blitz (the Blitz) to help identify the monarch butterfly's breeding sites.
The majestic monarch butterfly, a symbol of international cooperation famous for its spectacular migration, needs your help. Both the eastern and western populations of North American migratory monarchs have suffered steep declines over the past two decades.
What is the International Monarch Monitoring Blitz?
Launched for the first time last year, the International Monarch Monitoring Blitz aims to provide a valuable snapshot of monarch population status across the monarch flyway.
The Blitz is an initiative from the Trinational Monarch Conservation Partnership, created through the Commission for Environmental Cooperation. This year, through this Blitz, scientists from the Insectarium/Montréal Space for Life, Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Monarch Joint Venture, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mexico's Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales, are asking for your help to understand monarch distribution and occurrence throughout North America.
Each country has something to learn from monitoring milkweed and monarchs during this timeframe, and comparing these observations year to year. Milkweed is essential to monarchs, being the only food source for monarch caterpillars.
Observations reported in Canada will provide scientists with a snapshot of the peak breeding monarch population and milkweed presence in the northern range. Data collected in Mexico will document any monarch breeding taking place in traditionally migratory areas.
In the United States, monitoring the northern range of the eastern monarch population (east of the Rocky Mountains) will paint of picture of milkweed and monarch abundance during breeding of the migratory generation. Reports from the southern range of the eastern monarch population will document whether breeding and early migration are occurring. Information from the western range (west of the Rocky Mountains) will help address largely unanswered questions about monarch breeding and migration patterns in the west.
The International Monarch Monitoring Blitz seeks to engage thousands of citizens, reconnecting them with nature and raising awareness about the migratory monarch in North America. Everyone can take part in the Blitz: from Canada to Mexico, from old to young, and from longstanding citizen scientists to first time observers.
How to Participate in the Blitz?
Canadian citizens interested in taking part in the Blitz can visit the Mission Monarch website, US citizens are invited to visit the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project page, and Mexican citizens can learn more on the iNaturalista website.
Scientists from across North America still have much to learn about monarchs and milkweed. Observations from citizens can help them gain information that will support continental efforts to protect this incredible species.
"The longest journey starts with a simple action.”
Share about the Blitz!
Use the hashtag #Blitz2018 and/or #MissionMonarch to find and share photos and stories of adventures monitoring during the 2018 International Monarch Monitoring Blitz!
Nadine Fortin, Communications Coordinator / Montréal Space for Life. 514-868-3053 firstname.lastname@example.org
Karla Rojo de la Vega, Communication Director / National Commission of Natural Protected Areas. +52 55 5449 7019, email@example.com (communication and mass media affairs).
Marco Castro, Coordinator of the National Monarch Butterfly Monitoring Network in Mexico / National Commission of Natural Protected Areas. +52 777 362 2500 ext. 18614, firstname.lastname@example.org (technical and monitoring affairs).
Cora Lund Preston, Communications Specialist / Monarch Joint Venture. 612-625-8739, email@example.com
Mara Koenig, Public Affairs Specialist / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 612-713-5316, firstname.lastname@example.org