Reply
Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,250
Registered: ‎07-29-2014

If you live in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, or TX...

[ Edited ]
Scientists Need Your Help Spotting Monarch Butterflies This Winter

 

People in multiple states can help science and aid butterfly protection by reporting their monarch sightings.
 

If you’re running out of socially distanced activities to occupy your time as the nation waits for COVID-19 vaccines to be distributed to the masses, there may be a solution ― butterfly spotting.

 

Researchers are looking for people in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas to help them pinpoint monarch butterflies overwintering in their states from December through March.

 

Thousands of eastern monarchs in the U.S. and Canada migrate south each fall to spend the winter in Mexico. But not all of them go all the way to Mexico, and researchers want to know exactly where in the southern United States those butterflies spend the winter. (There is also a western monarch population that overwinters in California, but this project is about their eastern cousins.)

 

“If we can determine locations in this country that are important to the species, we may be able to focus our efforts to help maintain those areas,” Anna Yellin, a wildlife biologist with Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources, told HuffPost in an email.

 

That could mean protecting specific kinds of habitat or making sure there are adequate food sources nearby.

 

Monarch butterflies resting on a tree branch near their winter nesting area in Santa Cruz, California.
GOMEZDAVID VIA GETTY IMAGES
Monarch butterflies resting on a tree branch near their winter nesting area in Santa Cruz, California.
 

The initiative is a collaborative project between Georgia’s DNR, citizen science program Journey North, Monarchs Across Georgia and the University of Georgia.

 

This week, federal officials announced that the monarch butterfly was a candidate for Endangered Species Act protections, but that it likely would not be added to the list for several years because there are so many other species waiting for a designation. Both western and eastern monarch populations have seen huge decreases over the past few decades ― with eastern monarchs declining about 80% and western monarchs 99%.

 

Yellin, speaking about the declines as they relate to the eastern population, said there have been many factors involved.

 

“These include habitat loss (due to herbicide use and reduction in larval food or nectar sources, and wildfires), insecticide use, disease, and logging in their overwintering areas (mountainous areas of Mexico),” she said. “We also need to worry about how climate change may impact the microclimates in the areas that monarchs currently overwinter in.”

 

Researchers want the general public’s help so they can get observations from as many people as possible.

 

“What we need for this project is to have the most eyes we can looking into fields, forests, and wherever else overwintering monarchs may be,” she said. “At this point, we do not know if we will find them overwintering in Georgia, or in other yet unidentified locations in Southeastern states.”

 

She added that spotting winter butterflies could prove tricky.

 

“Butterflies are small and may cluster high in trees and blend in when they are overwintering,” she said. “They may be hard to spot and distinguish from leaves or pine needles. When overwintering, most of the time they may not be moving at all, but a hiker might get lucky and see them.”

 

Those who want to participate in the project can do so by reporting their sightings ― which requires creating a free account ― at the Journey North website.  https://journeynorth.org/

 

thank you! 

"Smart people learn from everything and everyone, average people from their experiences, stupid people already have all the answers."
Valued Contributor
Posts: 749
Registered: ‎11-09-2017

Re: If you live in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, or TX...

Needed and worthwhile project 

 

Thank you

 

 

@feline groovy 

Valued Contributor
Posts: 673
Registered: ‎11-08-2020

Re: If you live in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, or TX...

@feline groovy , I am not in those areas, in fact quite far from it on Canada's east coast. I am a avid gardener amd I have an interest in Monarch butterflies who are normally abundant here in the summer.  This year for the first time in many years I have seen very few butterflies in my garden.  I will be interested to see what happens with abundance estimates in the upcoming year.  S aka Lilysmom 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,492
Registered: ‎07-26-2014

Re: If you live in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, or TX...

Learned something new:  I thought all Monarch butterflies winter in Mexico.

"Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference."


220-AuCC-US-CRM-Header-Update.gif

Valued Contributor
Posts: 649
Registered: ‎02-08-2016

Re: If you live in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, or TX...

Thank ypu.I just submitted a photo and sighting.825A2063.jpeg

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,822
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: If you live in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, or TX...

Who do we report this to?  Not only do we have deer, but also monarch butterflies.

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness ~ Dalai Lama XIV

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace ~ Jimi Hendrix
Valued Contributor
Posts: 791
Registered: ‎08-24-2011

Re: If you live in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, or TX...

I am on the Gulf Coast and earlier in the month our yard was swarmed with dozens of monarchs. They stayed for several weeks but its gotten cold so they left.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,675
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: If you live in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, or TX...

Every time I go to Pismo Beach during Winter months I see thousands of Monarchs.  The Monarch Preserve is right next door to our RV park.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,250
Registered: ‎07-29-2014

Re: If you live in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, or TX...


@MamaWick  wrote:

Who do we report this to?  Not only do we have deer, but also monarch butterflies.

 

 

https://journeynorth.org/

"Smart people learn from everything and everyone, average people from their experiences, stupid people already have all the answers."
Honored Contributor
Posts: 29,612
Registered: ‎08-19-2010

Re: If you live in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, or TX...

They would be dehydrated and dry up if in Amarillo, tx. If it wasn't for the little bits of snow we've had lately we haven't had any rain fall since Sept.