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Monarch Butterfly Count on Manitoulin Island

July 27

Monarch Butterflies of Manitoulin Island.

An initiative of Judith Jones July 27, 2019

Attached below are the materials for the count—an info sheet about Monarchs, a tally sheet for the data, and a sheet of instructions (hopefully simple enough to follow for people who don’t attend an orientation).

For people who can’t attend an orientation session, these sheets are now up on the Wikwemikong Species at Risk facebook page and Manitoulin Phragmites Project facebook page in photo albums called Monarch count.

Most of you have a lot of experience with Monarchs, so I don’t need to tell you what to cover in the orientation you give, except to KEEP IT SIMPLE so that people will retain the info.  I suggest:

  • Why we’re counting—they’re a species at risk; this is a way to begin to track change over time for our area
  • Why are they at risk?—mention some of the threats, especially in Mexico
  • Life forms to look for—use info sheet photos and live Monarchs / Milkweed on site.
  • Explain how the generations work and which ones migrate in which direction.
  • Mimicry—explain toxicity of Milkweed/Monarch and benefit to Viceroy
  • Point out hind wing difference between Monarch and Viceroy
  • How can we help Monarchs here on Manitoulin?—Leave milkweed standing; don’t trample it especially if Monarchs are around.


See instruction sheet

  • Start and stop times are important as are names of all searchers because we’ll need to know # monarchs observed per person-hour (or similar unit) to compare data site to site and year to year.
  • Stress: We are NOT collecting Monarchs of any form during this event. And
  • People should not disturb (bend, touch, tip over) the milkweed plants while counting.
  • Please add your expertise and passion to your orientation session.
  • I will tally the data over the long weekend and will share it with all of you to get your take on it before I post it on Facebook or send it to the Expositor.

Thank you so much for agreeing to work with us on this!!
































July 27
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Manitoulin Nature Club


Manitoulin Island
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