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Home News Citizens Being Asked to Help Save Monarch Butterflies in Canada

Citizens Being Asked to Help Save Monarch Butterflies in Canada

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  Mission Monarch


    Citizens Being Asked to Help Save Monarch Butterflies in Canada

Montréal, June 8, 2016 – The Insectarium, a Montréal Space for Life institution, 
in co-operation with the Institut de recherche en biologie végétale (IRBV), the 
Université du Québec à Rimouski, the University of Ottawa and the University of 
Calgary, is currently conducting a national scale study of monarch breeding 
habitats and asking citizens to get involved.



This three-pronged research project is aimed at determining whether the 
availability of milkweed and breeding sites are limiting monarch reproduction in 
Canada. First of all, the researchers studied the geographic distribution of 
monarchs and their host plant, milkweed using advanced technology to map the 
distribution of the butterflies and their host plants. The hardest part is still 
to come, though: identifying the key monarch breeding areas in Canada by 
inventorying eggs, caterpillars, pupae and butterflies in natural habitats 
across Canada. Given the vast territory to cover, the researchers are now 
calling on all citizens to get out and help collect this priceless data, to 
optimize efforts to re-establish migratory monarch populations.

*Protecting monarch breeding habitats*
“The Government of Canada is proud to support citizen science initiatives like 
the Mission Monarch project announced today. Canadians are invited to join in 
this initiative to help monarch conservation. In fact, Environment and Climate 
Change Canada will be implementing this initiative in our protected areas within 
the monarch breeding range in Eastern Canada. We have supported actions 
benefitting pollinators, including monarch butterflies, with funding of 
approximately $3.8 million over three years including funding for essential 
research on monarch habitat in Canada,” says the Honourable Catherine McKenna, 
Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

*Expert contributors*
This major project, with $216,000 in three-year funding from Environment and 
Climate Change Canada, is being directed by Maxim Larrivée, Section Head, 
Entomological Collections and Research at the Montréal Insectarium. A number of 
eminent researchers in this field are co-investigators on the project: Jeremy 
Kerr, from the University of Ottawa, Dominique Berteaux, from UQAR, and Paul 
Galpern, from the University of Calgary, who are all associated with the Habitat 
Stewardship Program (HSP) for Species at Risk.

“With this vast study, Montréal is positioning itself as a leader in monarch 
conservation research. This significant collaborative effort is allowing us to 
enlist experts from the Insectarium, the IRVB and a number of institutions 
dedicated to biodiversity research, communication and education. At the same 
time, we are asking citizens to get involved in the research, to visit sites 
where milkweed grows and to look for monarchs,” says Réal Ménard, Montréal 
Executive Committee member responsible for sustainable development, the 
environment, major parks and green spaces.

*Mission Monarch: citizens to the rescue!*
Starting in June 2016, science, butterfly and nature buffs and other members of 
the public across the country are being asked by the experts to get out and look 
for milkweed plants, then to share their findings on the Mission Monarch 
<http://bulletin.ville.montreal.qc.ca/T/OFC4/L2S/5964/B2727326/IJ8s/741248/27694018/hZ4Vff/1/66663/z3sGkG0i/I/754261/wMkdut.html> 
website. “Mission Monarch is an especially concrete example of something that 
can bring humankind closer to nature,” declares Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, 
Director of Montréal Space for Life. “We’ve made that our mission and we are 
pleased that this major project is giving people a chance to connect or 
reconnect with their natural environment, while helping to conserve this widely 
beloved species.”

*A scientific activity within everyone’s reach*
The data collection protocol is very easy to follow and was designed so that 
everyone can participate. Anyone interested can just go to the Mission Monarch 
website, to sign up and find answer to their questions. It’s a great way to 
enjoy the summer and some outdoor fun with friends or family.

Mission Monarch 	
 

 

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Newsflash

  Mission Monarch


    Citizens Being Asked to Help Save Monarch Butterflies in Canada

Montréal, June 8, 2016 – The Insectarium, a Montréal Space for Life institution, 
in co-operation with the Institut de recherche en biologie végétale (IRBV), the 
Université du Québec à Rimouski, the University of Ottawa and the University of 
Calgary, is currently conducting a national scale study of monarch breeding 
habitats and asking citizens to get involved.