A 2019 International Monarch Monitoring Blitz is keeping an eye on Monarch butterflies across the continent.
Cora Preston, communications specialist with The Monarch Joint Venture, said they are asking people to find milkweed and report what they see whether it is an egg, caterpillar, or chrysalis between now and August 4. The idea is to get a snapshot of the breeding population.
“It is really troubling that they are in decline, and we need to get folks out monitoring to help understand this better so that we can inform our conservation efforts,” Preston said.
Preston said the decline in Monarch populations is because of a loss of habitat.
“When we are losing monarch habitat, we are not only losing monarchs, but we are also losing the benefits that the habitat provides for water quality, soil health, wildlife, pollination, and many other environmental benefits,” Preston said.
The group is working with partners across the United States, Canada and Mexico for this project which are all areas that fit the Monarch migration pattern. Preston said the information can help boost their conservation efforts across the entire continent.
Part of The Monarch Joint Venture includes sources to rebuild habitat.
“That is really one of the most important things that we can do to help monarchs and to help the rest of our environment as well,” Preston said.