Tomorrow marks the beginning of the 3rd Annual International Monarch Monitoring Blitz in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The event from July 27 to August 4, 2019, invites people across North America to go out to gardens, parks and green areas and monitor milkweed plants for monarch eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises and butterflies.
The information will help researchers identify priority areas for monarch conservation. It also provides a great way to build overall awareness of the importance of the Monarch butterfly to our ecosystem and biological diversity.
NCGA supports Monarch conservation initiatives because of their contribution to productive agriculture. An increase in milkweed and nectar plants appropriately placed in rural areas can benefit Monarchs without inhibiting production, and farmers are in a great position to establish Monarch habitat. You can learn a lot more from NCGA’s new publication called Best Management Practice for Pollinator Protection in Field Corn. Or Farmers for Monarchs provides a lot more information on what you can do to help.
In brief, you can establish a diverse habitat that has a mixture of native wildflowers, milkweed and other beneficial plants; plant pollinator habitats in sites such as field borders, pivot corners, conservation lands, ditches, buffers and other low productive lands; work with local partners also interested in conserving pollinators. There are several financial and technical assistance programs to help you conserve pollinators.
To take part in the Blitz, simply observe milkweed and monarchs, and report your observations. Record the location and area where you monitored, the number of milkweed plants observed, and the number and life stage of monarchs counted (even if there are no monarchs!).
If you are east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States report to Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, and if you are west of the Rocky Mountains report to Western Monarch and Milkweed Mapper. You can also share and follow the Blitz on social media using the hashtag #MonarchBlitz.
The Blitz is an initiative of the Trinational Monarch Conservation Science Partnership, created through the Commission for Environmental Cooperation and data gathered during the Blitz will be uploaded to the Trinational Monarch Knowledge Network.