Integrated Monarch Monitoring Program 2021
This year I’m volunteering for a cooperative science program aimed at identifying the habitats monarchs use the most. Previous studies have not included the aspects of resource availability, site vegetation inventories, and the resources used. We all know that monarchs use milkweed for larval stages, but adults have needs for nectar, shelter, and water. Like humans, if a parent can’t provide for themselves, their children will suffer. For monarchs that means a generation that might not make it to migration.
We received our training in mid April and the data collection and methods were learned. With that, three types of data collection activities will be recorded amongst our group of seven volunteers. A montly plant inventory, bi-weekly adult Monarch surveys, and weekly larval surveys. This is a great project for anyone seeking to understand how field studies are done and data is collected. Their program contains so much great information that anyone could follow along and help this critical study
This is the first year for data collection in Colorado and as such we are the pilot program. To date we have not seen a monarch at our site, but the land is a great spot for study as its a site managed for conservation. There are just so many sites available if people were inclined to help.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to make a contribution in support of one species, of so many, that are imperiled. I hope to take the knowledge I gain with the program and translate that into a plan for the monarch we have near our lovely open space. There is so much to be done and such a short runway now.