Scientific Research

The Museum created the  2014 / 2015 Report Summarizing the Monarch Population Trends in Monterey County Overwintering Sites based on data collected from it's Monarch citizen science program.

Data collection includes estimating number of monarchs present, collecting weather data, and recording habitat data and then entering this data into a database for scientific analysis. This program may also include year-round monarch habitat monitoring. College students and adults are also involved in the Museum's monarch tagging citizen science pilot.

The Museum's Monarch Citizen Science program partners with the following institutions conducting monarch research. 

  • Cal Poly's Monarch Alert conducts monarch population research through tagging butterflies.
  • Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia focuses on tracking the spread of the Ophryocystis elektroscirrha protozoan parasite in monarchs through monitoring efforts and the citizen science program Monarch Health.

The Museum also works with the Xerces Society's Western Monarch Count to count the total number of overwintering monarchs on the West Coast of the United States.

Much of this work is made possible thanks to the Helen Johnson Monarch Fund.

Click here to access the petition to protect the monarch butterfly as a threatened species under the US Endangered Species Act.