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Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count

Main Project Information
Presented By The Xerces Society
Goal Help researchers take census of winter Monarch butterflies.
Task Count monarchs at overwintering sites around Thanksgiving.
Where CA

The Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count (WMTC) is a citizen-science project designed to census the size of overwintering monarch colonies. As the name implies, it is conducted over a three-week period around the (American) Thanksgiving holiday in November and December by a large number of volunteers. The project is currently coordinated by Mia Monroe and Emma Pelton with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

How to Join

The counting procedure for this project is generally straightforward. Volunteers visit their adopted overwintering site during the early morning while monarchs are non-mobile. They use binoculars to view clusters and estimate the number of monarchs per cluster, then extrapolate that to the remainder of the colony to derive an estimate of colony size. Volunteers can sign up for a specific site on the Western Monarch Count website.

Project Timing This project takes place every year for three weeks surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday.
Social Media
Ideal Age Group College, Graduate students, Adults, Seniors
Ideal Frequency Just once
Average Time An hour or so
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity On a hike
Training Materials
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags , butterflies, butterfly, california, monarch, overwintering site
Project Updated 05/23/2018