This past May of 2015 the USFWS and the Xerces Society partnered and began work on a Western Monarch Butterfly Habitat Suitability Model (see attached flyer). The goal of the model is to help get a better understanding of where the western population of monarchs are breeding in the west, as well as to document the distribution of the monarch’s milkweed host plants. The resulting model will be used to inform western monarch conservationist’s as to the best locations to begin much needed habitat conservation projects.
Now that fall is upon us and the field season is winding down, we’re gearing up to start trial runs of the model. We’ve spent the summer compiling and collecting milkweed and monarch data for the eleven states west of the Rocky Mountains: AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, and WY. However, the more data we can gather, the stronger the model will be. This is where we need your help. We hope that you’ve had a chance to get outside this summer, get your hands dirty, and perhaps collect some monarch and milkweed data while you were out there! If you were able to record any milkweed and/or monarch observations we would really appreciate if you would share those with us.
We’re still encouraging folks to submit milkweed and/or monarch observations via the USFWS excel spreadsheet (attached and included in text of flyer) or the Xerces Society Milkweed Survey, located here.
In hopes of capturing as much of the 2015 field data as possible, while still ensuring enough time for model results to inform 2016 planning, we’ve set a final data submission date of Monday, November 2, 2015. So if you would like to contribute to this modeling project, please report your observations by COB that date. If you choose to fill out the excel spreadsheet, please send those to Ashley Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or Liz Cruz at email@example.com. Please feel free to direct any questions to either Ashley or Liz.
Thank you for your time and valuable contributions to the success of this project and monarch conservation.