Monarch Monitoring Blitz Is Now On…

International Monarch Monitoring Blitz (CNW Group/Espace pour la vie)

MONTREAL: Canadians are being invited to join thousands of volunteers in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, from July 24 to August 2, 2020, for the 4th annual International Monarch Monitoring Blitz (the Blitz).

With limited ability to do field work due to COVID-19 restrictions, researchers need your observations now more than ever.

“We need a better picture of monarch distribution within its breeding range across North America, so every observation counts. Even if it’s from your own backyard.” said Alessandro Dieni, Mission Monarch Coordinator at the Insectarium/Montréal Space for Life.

To take part in the Blitz, submit your data to Mission Monarch if you are in Canada.Follow the Blitz on social media using the hashtag #MonarchBlitz!

“Monarch butterflies are a flagship species for pollinator conservation in North America and a symbol of international cooperation. Join others who are helping to conserve their spectacular migration by contributing to the International Monarch Monitoring Blitz,” says Katie-Lyn Bunney, Education Coordinator at the Monarch Joint Venture.

For one week, the Blitz invites people across North America to look for milkweed plants and survey them for monarch eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises and butterflies. This information will help researchers identify priority areas for monarch conservation actions.

Data gathered during the Blitz is uploaded to the Trinational Monarch Knowledge Network, where it is accessible for anyone to consult and download.

The Blitz is an initiative of the Trinational Monarch Conservation Science Partnership, created through the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC).

Through the Blitz, scientists from the Insectarium/Montréal Space for Life, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), Monarch Joint Venture, Journey North, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, and Mexico’s Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (Conanp) are asking the public to help them understand monarch and milkweed distribution throughout North America.

Monarch butterfly overwintering sites were first recorded by scientists in California over 200 years ago and in Mexico in 1975. Since then, the monarch has become an emblematic species for North America.

After an alarming decrease in its populations over the last 20 years, the eastern monarch population overwintering in central Mexico showed a significant increase in 2018.

However, the population suffered a 53% drop last year when compared with 2018, remaining well below historic levels, which demonstrates that conservation efforts are still needed to attain a positive trend.

The western monarch population, west of the Rocky Mountains and overwinters on the California Coast continues to hover at less than 1% of its historic population size for the second year in a row. – CNW Telbec.