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Monitoring with Citizen Science in the West

Terra Peninsular is monitoring monarchs in Baja California with the help of citizen scientists.

July 07, 2023

Terra Peninsular, a conservation organization that works in the Baja California peninsula, engaged communities through virtual workshops (due to COVID-19) to join the monitoring efforts. Not much is known about the monarch migratory route along the coasts of California and Baja California. However, in 2016, the Northwest Monitoring Network was established to learn more about the western migration.

In 2020, Terra Peninsular held a webinar and created promotional materials to encourage people to monitor and upload monarch sightings. Through January 2020 and February 2021, six sightings were recorded and 18 in the Mexico’s northwestern part (16 in 2020 and 2 in 2021).
Additionally, in November 2020, visits were made to six previously registered locations in coastal Baja California to survey and monitor monarchs. Among the sites visited, very few monarch butterflies were
found, with just four at the Real del Mar site in Tijuana. Some photos of the visited sites can be viewed on Flickr.

Monarch spotted in Real del Mar, Tijuana

Reports were received on Facebook and Instagram from different parts of the country such as Chihuahua and Puerto Peñasco. During October, the sightings intensified, obtaining 27 records between the cities of Tijuana and Ensenada. There was only one sighting of a group of 10 monarch butterflies on citrus trees south of the port of Ensenada. The rest were records of solitary monarch butterflies, some accompanied by Queen butterflies. MBF is happy to support this project which is done in collaboration with the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas and has been part of the Northwest Monitoring Network since 2016.

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