What Is The MCSP Integrated Monitoring Strategy?
The Monarch Conservation Science Partnership (MCSP) formed in 2009 and is a consortium of scientists and conservation professionals who are collectively tackling monarch conservation research questions. The MCSP’s Integrated Monitoring Strategy (IMS) is a national initiative to monitor monarch populations and habitat throughout the breeding range. The IMS uses a spatially balanced sampling scheme and draws from existing citizen science programs to deliver a suite of protocols that capture many aspects of habitat quality, threats, and monarch use of that habitat. Data gathered through the IMS contribute to existing population and habitat models that inform broad scale monarch conservation!
Citizen scientists, land managers, and researchers are all vital to this effort; researchers alone cannot cover enough ground to capture the information that is needed, so we need an all-hands-on-deck approach to conserving and monitoring monarchs. Data collected using these protocols provide a snapshot of monarch activity at a given place and time. Cumulatively, these snapshots form a comprehensive picture of monarch activity and habitat availability that can be used in many ways to inform local, regional, and national conservation efforts.
Citizen scientists can provide valuable data regardless of their experience, but training is required. Our workshop season in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin has ended, but we will resume workshops in these and neighboring states in the summer of 2018.
After training, your monitoring coordinator will provide a list of public priority sites near you. Priority sites are where monitoring is most needed, however, you may also monitor a site of your own choice. You can also choose which activities to do or not to do. While doing all activities is encouraged, it is not required!
Click below to download a copy of the IMS protocol instructions and datasheets. You will be directed to a brief survey and then provided a link to the documents.