Monitor Monarchs and Milkweed to Help Researchers

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Help us understand more about monarch populations!

When you upload observations to community science programs, you share valuable information about the abundance and distribution of monarchs and milkweed plants. This knowledge contributes directly to the research and conservation of monarchs. 

Your observations are crucial to knowing how best to protect monarch butterflies.


iNaturalist helps the public identify living organisms. Connect with scientists and naturalists to learn more about nature. The iNaturalist app makes it easy to submit observations on the go from your smartphone.

Any time you come across a monarch or milkweed, take a picture! Observations of Monarchs and Milkweed uploaded to iNaturalist will be automatically captured under Nature NB’s “Monarchs and Milkweed of NB” project and used to inform conservation work in the province.

Mission Monarch

Mission monarch is a joint initiative of the Insectarium – Montréal Space for Life and the Institut de recherche en biologie végétale. It is part of an international research and education effort to gather data on monarch and milkweed distribution and abundance. The information collected allows researchers to identify the monarch’s breeding hotspots and implement efficient conservation actions.

Surveys involve checking milkweed plants for monarch caterpillars, eggs, and adult butterflies. You can survey milkweed on your own, or keep an eye on our Facebook page to join one of our community Milkweed patch surveys in July & August!

Monarch Watch

Each fall Monarch Watch volunteers “tag” thousands of monarchs as they migrate through their area – recording the tag code, tag date, gender of the butterfly, and geographic location. At the end of the tagging season, these data are submitted to Monarch Watch and added to a database to be used in research.

The Saint John Naturalist’s Club has been participating in this initiative since 2012, tagging hundreds of monarchs each year at the Point Lepreau Bird Observatory as part of Nature NB’s Monarch conservation project. Two butterflies tagged at Point Lepreau have been recovered in Mexico!

Click here for more information on how to become a monarch tagging volunteer.(If you see a monarch with a small white sticker on its wing, you can report it here!  Monarch Watch is also a good resource for tips on growing milkweed and starting your own butterfly garden.)

Other community science initiatives

Milkweed Watch

MilkweedWatch allows the public to help monitor and protect milkweed by documenting where it is found.


eButterfly allows the public to help monitor the presence of any species of butterfly. It also provides a location to store all your individual butterfly photos.

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