Create a Ripple Effect Across North America: Take Part in the 2023 International Monarch Monitoring Blitz


Female Monarch
Photo: Insectarium de Montréal (K. Vendette)

The International Monarch Monitoring Blitz is back for its seventh edition! From 28 July to 6 August 2023, Espace pour la vie invites you to join thousands of volunteers across Canada, Mexico and the United States and support monarch butterfly conservation. To take part in this trinational initiative, simply share your monarch and milkweed observations via the Insectarium Mission Monarch program.

For a 10-day period, the International Monarch Monitoring Blitz invites people in North America to find milkweed plants and look for monarch eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises and butterflies. Last year more than 6,000 observations were collected, creating a ripple effect for monarch conservation across North America. In fact, observations submitted by volunteers help identify priority areas for monarch conservation and guide conservation actions. The data collected during the Blitz will be made available for anyone to download and consult via the Trinational Monarch Knowledge Network, a central repository that features data from various sources and helps researchers perform large-scale temporal and spatial analyses.

The Blitz is the only coordinated trinational effort to capture a snapshot of the monarch and milkweed summer distribution. This information is crucial to help the scientific community understand and measure the reproductive success of the monarch breeding population as well as long-term population trends.

“I started seeing monarchs about five summers ago and realized I might have something cool in my yard attracting them. A quick search led me to the Monarch Blitz, and I became hooked! I found milkweed all over my yard and vowed to make my backyard a sanctuary for pollinators,” said Lindsay, one volunteer with Journey North in the United States.

Monarch egg

Photo: André-Philippe Drapeau Picard

As mentioned in the Canada Gazette, there is a proposed order to amend the List of Wildlife Species at Risk by reclassifying the monarch butterfly from special concern to endangered.


Photo: Insectarium de Montréal (Laurent Desaulniers)

In Mexico, the monarch butterfly is officially listed as a species at risk under Norma Oficial Mexicana 059 since 2010.

In the United States, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) determined that listing the monarch butterfly as an endangered or threatened species was warranted but precluded by higher-priority listing action. According to Mara Koenig, a Public Affairs Specialist at USFWS, the agency is expected to submit a proposed rule to the Federal Register for the monarch, if still warranted, under the Endangered Species Act by 30 September 2024.

With the conservation of the monarch butterfly gaining momentum across North America, now is the time for communities to go out into nature and take part in this initiative!

To take part in the Blitz, please share your observations through Mission Monarch

Monarch catepillar

Photo: André Sarrazin

“I invite everyone to take part in the International Monarch Monitoring Blitz this summer. More than ever, we need data on this migratory butterfly, whose populations have declined substantially. We can no longer take for granted that we will see a monarch butterfly in our gardens, fields, and by the roadside. They need our protection, and the International Monarch Monitoring Blitz is a simple and effective way for you to help. By reporting what you see over a 10-day period, you’ll join people from across North America who are contributing to the survival of the monarch butterfly in a very real way. Mark the dates, get some friends, and go observe this natural work of art in its habitat! ,” said the Honorable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada.