Volunteers Needed for Citizen Science Monarch Butterfly Monitoring Project

Release Date: 

Volunteers collecting dataPeninsula Point is known not only for its lighthouse and wonderful bird watching opportunities, monarch butterflies can be found throughout the summer nectaring on the many wildflowers and milkweed plants and congregating on the cedar trees prior to migration in the early fall.

Due to the large congregation of monarch butterflies at Peninsula Point, it has become a popular area where monarchs are both observed and studied. Two nationwide monitoring projects are being conducted at Peninsula Point. Information collected by citizen allows scientists to learn more about the monarch butterfly and track the annual numbers during the summer and fall months.


Larval monitoring begins in May continuing through September and consists of counting the milkweed plants then checking each plant for the presence of eggs and larva, recording the numbers of each. The data is then sent to the University of Minnesota. This work is a part of the U of MN Larval Monitoring Project. Monitoring takes approximately 2 hours and is conducted every Wednesday morning.   

Migration census is conducted daily starting in early August through September.  This consists of counting the number of monarchs three times a day. Tagging is also conducted during this time when large numbers of monarchs are present. Small tags are applied to the wing of the butterfly; the tag number recorded as part of the Monarch Watch Project at Kansas University.  Recoveries of tagged monarchs help scientist determine the butterflies’ migratory route. Information gathered will assist scientist at several colleges and universities working to conserve monarch butterflies.

Volunteers are needed! If you are interested in participating in any of the above volunteer activities (small volunteer stipend available), please contact Pat Landry at plandry411@att.net for larval monitoring and Gina Badgett at gnb_43@yahoo.com for migration census and tagging. 

 If you interested in learning more, or making a donation to the project, you can contact: Monarch Butterfly Research Project, Hiawatha National Forest, 8181 U.S. Highway 2, Rapid River, Michigan 49878  (906) 474-6442.