Target or Affiliated Species or Habitat
Texas Milkweed and Monarchs is a citizen science monitoring program that focuses on documenting native Texas milkweed, using the iNaturalist mobile app. As of February 2016, 904 total observations of 28 different milkweed species have been reported by over 120 citizen scientists. Facilitated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the project only focuses on documenting milkweed and has three main goals:
“1. Document the importance of planted and wild milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) to monarchs in Texas. 2. Document the distribution of native, wild milkweed in Texas. 3. Quantify the changing importance of different milkweed species to monarch caterpillars throughout the year” (AFWA 2015). Participating citizen scientists have the opportunity to create journal posts updating the community to their recent findings or experiences in the field. The TPWD facilitators also use the journal feature to update volunteers as to the status of the project.
Pictures of milkweed sightings can also be posted to the site for identification or confirmation. Using results from this project, the TPWD have recently published a field guide for milkweed identification Texas.