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A Year in Review

Time Flies

In 2019 we partnered with Arizona Game & Fish to find fertile regions for monarch habitats, both new and restoration sites. 800 milkweeds were planted at Whitewater Draw in November with more to come in 2020. By July of 2020 we hope to have added over 5,000 milkweeds through our NFWF grant in Arizona.

We provided monarch conservation workshops in Phoenix and a Monarch Town Hall in Tucson in 2019. We also provided educational trainings, for example, for Landscape Architects in Tucson, City of Mesa Environmental & Sustainability Division, Grand Canyon employees, Pima County Flood Control, Arizona Audubon and presented SWMS findings at the IMMP (Integrated Monarch Monitoring Program) training and Monarch Joint Venture in November. (We now have four trainers available to offer IMMP workshops in the area.) SWMS also attended the WAFWA Rollout Meeting in Reno in June and participated in a task force recommending goals for monarch conservation in Arizona.

Southwest Monarch Study led four Fall Monarch Tagging events and many other events were held by Citizen Scientists across the region. Numerous school children learned about monarchs in the Southwest through dedicated trained Citizen Scientist presenters. SWMS covered educational tables at events throughout the region.

In 2018 we offered over 45 educational events including monarch and milkweed presentations, tables at public events, Farmer’s Markets and milkweed/nectar restoration. We received a $88,950 grant from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to provide monarch habitats at Arizona State Parks, Tonto National Forest, and along the San Pedro River through our partnership with the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation. Another partner, Signature Botanica, is growing native milkweeds from locally collected seeds.

In 2015, we published our first paper, “Status of Danaus plexippus in Arizona” in the Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society. Free tags for wild monarchs are provided to everyone in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, western Colorado, and the deserts of California.

Despite a record low Western Monarch population year, eight tagged monarchs were recovered this year. Six were seen in California, one in Mexico and one tagged in northern Utah was sighted in Arizona.

Thank you to everyone for making this successful year possible!

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