For the first time, all three countries in North America are joining forces and inviting their citizens to document monarch breeding sites across the continent by heading outdoors at the same time of year. This Montréal Space for Life project, developed and headed up by a team from the Insectarium, encourages everyone in Mexico, the United States and Canada to take part in the Mission Monarch Blitz, to be held from July 29 to August 6, 2017. What’s the objective? To find milkweed plants, check for monarch caterpillars on the plants and report their observations on the Mission Monarch website. This time of year was chosen to teach people about monarchs and involve them in protecting these butterflies, since it is when they start laying their eggs and monarch caterpillars can be seen in all three countries.
Join in the Mission Monarch Blitz – it's free, easy and fun!
Montréal Space for Life is inviting everyone to get outdoors with friends or family or while on vacation and take part in this major first. Anyone who is interested in participating, alone or as part of a group, can register online straight away on the mission-monarch.org website, where they’ll find ID sheets showing what to look for and a video created to help them understand the mission being assigned to them.
The goal is to find milkweed plants, and then check for monarch caterpillars on them. Even if people don’t see any monarchs, the information they send in is very important to the researchers, as it will allow them to compare the breeding potential of different habitats and identify the best ones.
Remember that data can also be collected outside the Blitz period – from when milkweed first appears in spring until the monarchs leave in fall. People are being asked to record and share their observations and data before, during and after the Blitz on mission-monarch.org.
What exactly is Mission Monarch?
Giving the disturbing decline in North American monarch populations, the Montréal Insectarium launched a citizen-science research project in 2016, with the goal of identifying and describing monarch breeding grounds as a way of helping to preserve them. In order to protect monarch habitats, it’s essential to know where they are, and that’s where Mission Monarch comes in. In addition to contributing to scientific knowledge, Mission Monarch helps educate the public and build awareness about the monarch cause, while encouraging people to be part of the solution.
Mayors’ Monarch Pledge program
The Mission Monarch program is one of Montréal’s key actions to help protect monarchs. It also qualifies the city as a monarch-friendly city under the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge program, symbolizing its commitment to the species. This trinational program, started in the United States, encourages municipal governments in Canada, the United States and Mexico to restore these butterflies’ essential habitats and invites citizens across North America to do likewise.
To sign up and for more information about the project:
Go to www.mission-monarch.org.- 30 -