Every year in late summer and early fall, western monarchs journey back to more than 200 overwintering sites up and down the California coast. Here, they gather by the dozens, hundreds, and even thousands to rest for the winter, before mating in the spring and starting the cycle all over again. Citizen scientists monitor these overwintering groves each year, gathering information on habitat conditions and estimating population numbers. The highlight of this effort is the annual Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count (WMTC), which takes place for three weeks around the Thanksgiving holiday. To learn more about the count and find out how you can get involved, read more here. If you're visiting an overwintering site, don't forget to keep an eye out for tags this season too!
The monarch migration is upon us, and there is no better time to act to help protect this iconic species. As we anticipate leaves changing color and brisk autumn temperatures, monarchs too are recogni...
Do you know that you can help track monarchs in the West during the spring, summer, and fall, not just when monarchs are overwintering? The Xerces Society is gathering records of milkweed and monarch observations from citizen scientists like you! There are many ways to submit data---through the Monarch SOS app, online survey, etc. Check out www.xerces.org/milkweedsurvey to get started. ... See MoreSee Less
A new Xerces report, State of the Monarch Butterfly Overwintering Sites in California, documents a 74% decline in the number of overwintering monarchs in CA in less than two decades. The data used was largely generated by volunteers of the Western Monarch Count, who's dedication makes this important monitoring of monarch populations possible. Thank you to all our volunteers and volunteer coordinators for continuing to advocate for and support Western monarch conservation efforts!
There's a new way to record monarch data! The Monarch SOS App v. 2.1 is available free from iTunes for use on iPhone (an Android version is in the works). Check out the many citizen science projects related to monarchs including the Xerces Western Monarch Count for overwintering sites in California and the Xerces/USFWS Western Milkweed and Monarch Breeding survey for collecting information throughout the West during the breeding season. ... See MoreSee Less
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Monarch overwintering site location data provided by this website is for basic navigational purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon in situations where precise location information is needed or where erroneous, inaccurate or incomplete location data may lead to personal injury, death, or property or environmental damage. Neither we, nor any of our content providers, guarantee the availability, accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of location data displayed by our website.
Participants of this citizen science project assume all responsibility for following the rules and regulations of the areas in which they are surveying, including all notices of private property and no trespassing warnings. The Xerces Society encourages all participants to follow basic common sense and safety precautions when accessing and monitoring overwintering sites. Participants are ultimately responsible for their own safety and well-being.