Welcome to our chilly spring everyone! Thank you so much for your past contributions to our Monarch Community Science Project. As we alluded to at the end of our monitoring in 2022, we are very focused on analyzing the data you all have collected over the past four years and producing a peer-reviewed publication to share what we have learned. Given the small size of our team, that means we are unable to run the project as we have in past years. To keep our project going, we have partnered with the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, so that you can directly submit your observations to their database.
The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (MLMP) was developed in 1997 by Karen Oberhauser and is now a joint effort by Monarch Joint Venture and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum. This is a nationwide effort that seeks to better understand the distribution and abundance of breeding monarchs. In 2020, we worked closely with MLMP to adapt our project so that the data we collected was similar to theirs, enabling us to submit our data to them at the end of each year. Because of this yearly submission, we have vastly increased the number of participating sites in Illinois.
We are excited to offer a virtual training session to our past participants with our friends at MLMP on April 12th from 6 to 8pm. While you will still collect weekly data on the eggs and caterpillars on your milkweed plants, this training will cover the minor differences in how to collect and upload your data to the MLMP data portal.
Please RSVP by April 10th to receive the Zoom link for the training, along with instructions for creating your MLMP account so that it can be linked to the site(s) you previously monitored. If you are interested in collecting data this year, but are unable to attend, please register so that we can send you the Zoom recording afterwards.
While this is a big change, it reflects our strong commitment to putting the data you collected into the scientific literature and the reality that we have limited capacity. However, we will not disappear. We are still committed to writing newsletters throughout this season to keep you informed about our work and other upcoming opportunities. This is not the end of community science projects run by our team!
Thanks for being part of this journey with us as we have built this wonderful community of people all trying to preserve monarch butterflies. We could not have done this without you and we look forward to staying connected and sharing this paper with you as soon as possible.
Monarch Community Science Team–