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Monarchs in the Media!

Sep 06, 2013


  • Conservation Stories

A record low monarch population during winter 2012-13 called for a record high effort in raising awareness during the 2013 monarch migratory and breeding seasons. Monarch experts, enthusiasts, and citizen scientists stepped up to the challenge, answering to many requests for interviews from all realms of public media.

Among others, monarch experts Chip Taylor of Monarch Watch and Karen Oberhauser of the University of Minnesota Monarch Lab have dedicated numerous hours to sharing their knowledge with the public. Chip has provided his expertise in over 20 interviews since July 1st! A few highlights of his outreach efforts include a recent lecture for The Wild Center, and interviews with Environment360 and North Country Public Radio. Karen was invited to speak about citizen science after she was chosen as a Champion of Change by the White House in June. In an interview with Access Minnesota, she discussed Citizen Scientists and the Fight to Save Monarch Butterflies, and the StarTribune highlights her lifelong dedication to monarch research and conservation.

Citizen scientists and local monarch enthusiasts have also been quoted in newspaper and magazine articles across the country. To list them all here would be a near impossible feat! In addition to print media, social media provides increasingly important outlets for monarch awareness. Volunteers have dedicated time to keeping up social media pages, posting stories and updates to educate others about milkweeds and monarchs. To highlight a few, Ina Warren, a Monarch Watch Conservation Specialist, has over 1600 followers on her Facebook page and Monika Maeckle’s Texas Butterfly Ranch blog provides routine monarch updates. The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project has utilized YouTube to share videos about monarch monitoring, and produces an e-newsletter to share project information and highlights. These are just a few examples of outreach paths to explore to boost monarch conservation awareness.

How can you keep up with all of these monarch or milkweed postings? Google Alerts, a service by Google, allows you to set up email alerts for specific topics (such as milkweed or monarch butterfly) so you would get daily or weekly updates on that topic! It catches most, but not all recent posts about monarchs.

Each article, interview, social media page, lecture, and casual conversation about monarchs has the potential to affect many people.  In turn, these people may share links, pages, or conversations with friends, families, and neighbors, creating a growing network of monarch activists. As this network grows, so does monarch awareness and the potential for monarch conservation. Have you shared anything lately?

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