Monarch Conservation Toolbox

Pilot Projects

Monarch Alert Tagging Project

United States


Agency Type

Target or Affiliated Species or Habitat

Original Language

“Project Monarch Alert is a citizen-based research project backed by graduate student researchers and faculty from Cal-Poly in San Luis Obispo. We focus on the demography and population fluctuations of western monarch butterflies, through sampling of overwintering populations in San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties […] Currently, our primary objectives are: Obtain robust estimates of overwintering monarch population sizes at select sites in San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties; Develop models, based on diverse ecological variables over local and regional scales, which allow us to predict the population size for overwintering monarchs; Tagging of monarchs to study movement and demographic connections between overwintering sites; Develop models, based on local, and even grove specific habitat variables, that explain overwintering monarchs abundant [sic], tree use, and movement within and between groves; Science based management, planning and conservation; Collaboration with local Natural History Associations and docent groups that are interested in monarch butterfly biology and conservation; Education and outreach to further an appreciation and understanding of monarch biology and migration dynamics.

While much is known about overwintering monarchs in California, recent dramatic dips in the overwintering population size suggests that migration and overwintering of western monarchs are highly dynamic processes. With our collaborators and citizen scientists we hope to provide insight into the conservation of this amazing system” (Monarch Alert Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 2015).

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