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Friday, June 27, 2014

More monarchs than last year!

monarch.jpgIn June 2013 I wrote an article for this eZine that said "MLMP volunteers all over the U.S. and Canada are seeing very few, if any, monarch adults, eggs, or caterpillars this summer." This year, I'm happy to report that the news is better. While the overwintering population last winter was smaller than ever, and we had low reports out of the south, MLMP volunteers in the upper midwestern U.S. are reporting monarch eggs, larvae and adults. The numbers are lower than average, but still seem to suggest that the population may be rebounding. I'm cautiously optimistic, and send out a sigh of relief and a big "Hurray"! We hope that you're seeing monarchs and other interesting things in your milkweed patches, and that you realize how valuable your data are. Please be sure to report your findings, and check out the data from other MLMP sites throughout the U.S.! Let us know if you have any questions about collecting or reporting data.

While it's hard to find monarch "J's" and pupae in the wild, MLMP volunteer Patti Keiper sent in the above picture of a monarch that was discovered near the Rockford Road Library in Crystal, Minnesota in summer 2012. Unfortunately, a lawn service was about to spray and weed whip baby milkweed plants off the cedar chip bed it was in, but library staff rescued the plant and the monarch, as well as other larvae in the bed.

Karen Oberhauser
University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

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