Montreal, 29 August 2019—The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) is pleased to announce the results of the third annual Trinational Monarch Monitoring Blitz (the Blitz). For a week, hundreds of volunteers in Canada, Mexico and the United States helped monarch experts gain more information to enable better understanding of the distribution of the migratory monarch butterfly, an emblematic North American species.
Between July 27 and August 4, 1,436 volunteers from the three countries participated in the Blitz, recording 32,883 monarchs at various stages of their life cycle, from eggs to full-fledged butterflies, and monitoring 59,176 milkweed plants—the sole food source for monarch caterpillars. Almost three times more participants this year recorded three times more caterpillars and close to 6,000 more milkweed than in the previous year.
“The Blitz is a great example of how powerful teamwork can be,” said André-Philippe Drapeau Picard, Mission Monarch coordinator at the Insectarium/Montréal Space for Life, one of the initiative’s leading organizations. “By joining forces across North America, we were able to reach an impressive number of people. We got them involved in monarch conservation, many for the first time.”
The Trinational Monarch Monitoring Blitz invited people across North America to go out to gardens, parks and green areas and monitor milkweed plants for monarch eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises and butterflies. The information collected will help researchers identify priority areas for monarch conservation actions. The data gathered are accessible for anyone to consult and download on the Trinational Monarch Knowledge Network website.
“In addition to the scientific advances from data collected as a result of the Monarch Blitz, it’s amazing to follow the growing network of people from across North America, all pitching in to do their part for monarch conservation. We’re making great strides toward having all hands on deck for monarchs. Let’s keep the momentum going!” said Wendy Caldwell, Executive Director at Monarch Joint Venture.
The North American monarch butterfly is an iconic and fascinating species and a symbol of international cooperation. “The longest journey starts with a simple action,” and the results of this year’s Blitz reflect these collaborative actions.
The Blitz is an initiative of the Trinational Monarch Conservation Science Partnership, created through the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). 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) would like to thank all the volunteers who participated for their amazing effort.
For more information on this year’s results, go to the Mission Monarch website if you are in Canada. If you are east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States, follow the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project link, and if you are west of the Rocky Mountains, use the link for the Western Monarch and Milkweed Mapper. In Mexico, you can go to Naturalista. Or, simply follow the Blitz on social media, using the hashtag #MonarchBlitz.
Share your findings and join the conversation on social media! #MonarchBlitz
Media Contact – CEC
514 995 5824
Monarch Project Lead – CEC
Media Contact – Insectarium/Montréal Space for Life
514 868 3053
The Blitz is an initiative of the Trinational Monarch Conservation Science Partnership, which includes the following organizations:
The National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp) is an agency of the federal government of Mexico in charge of the administration of the protected natural areas. @GobiernoMX
The US Fish and Wildlife Service is a leader in fish and wildlife conservation, known for its scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources. @USFWS
The Space for Life’s Insectarium is the largest museum in North America entirely dedicated to insects, immersing humans into the insect universe. @EspacePourLaVie
The Monarch Joint Venture is a partnership of organizations working together to conserve the monarch migration for future generations. @MonarchsJV
Journey North is an international citizen science project of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum that engages citizen scientists in a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change. @journeynorth.org
The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects the natural world by conserving invertebrates and their habitat. @xercessociety
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations
The CEC is governed and funded equally by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.