Volunteer to count Monarch butterflies

Being a volunteer is a way to help preserve nature. Butterflies bring life to our gardens and forests, and it is important to maintain their natural habitat as much as possible. The Monarch butterfly is in danger and scientists are attempting to do all they can to make sure this insect and its habitat is protected.

To achieve this, they need to know how many butterflies there are returning to place of origin. It is impossible to count them all, but still we can discover how many butterflies were in California during Thanksgiving. How is this possible?

Monarchs migrate from Canada and the United States to central Mexico. The migrations start in September and October arriving in Mexico in November. The reverse migrations start in March.

Volunteers are enlisted to count the butterflies in their area and count the clusters. The volunteers learn how to make estimations and how to find clusters of Monarchs. One thing that makes counting a little difficult is the fact that the butterflies need to be counted early in the morning when the air is still cold and they can’t fly. Once the sun comes up they will fly off to eat and it will be impossible to approximate how many butterflies are in the area.

Besides counting, some volunteers do their part to raise awareness about the species of butterflies that might disappear in the next years.                                  

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