The Monarch Monitoring Project is a long-term study on monarch migration through Cape May, NJ. It is a part of the New Jersey Audubon Research Department, and closely affiliated with the Cape May Bird Observatory.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pledge to Fledge

The Monarch Monitoring Project participated in the big "Pledge to Fledge" kickoff event that was held on Thursday, August 23, at Cape May Point State Park.  We tagged about 10 monarchs, a bit earlier than we usually begin our tagging, yet monarchs are already heading south.  There are monarchs of two generations around right now, older ones that are the parents of the migratory generations, and young ones that are already heading to Mexico.  Dozens of park visitors observed the tagging and learned about monarch biology and migration.  And several younger visitors served as launching pads for tagged monarchs, a scene that will be repeated many times in the next two months.

Thanks to Scott Whittle for sharing the following photos, which shows me tagging a monarch and sharing information with some of the visitors at the Pledge to Fledge event.  Scott's an amazing photographer, equally talented with photographing weddings or warblers.  I recommend checking his website:

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Welcome Julia Druce

We are happy to announce that Julia Druce, a recent graduate (with honors and distinction) from Stanford University, has been hired as the Monarch Monitoring Project's 2012 Intern.  We asked Julia to write up a little autobiography to share with supporters of our project.  Ladies and gentlemen, meet Julia Druce:

Julia is working this summer at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab.

"Hello, my name is Julia Druce and I will be the 2012 intern with the Cape May Monarch Monitoring Project. For the past 3 years I've been working with various species of butterflies, ranging from from sulphurs to checkerspots, with a variety of researchers and research projects, covering molecular evolution to physiological ecology. I'm very excited  to have the chance to learn about the ecology of the monarch, which is such an iconic and unique species! I find butterflies so fascinating because of the stunning amount of variation between species as well as within species. This makes butterflies a great system for answering diverse questions about how the natural world works. I'm planning on beginning a PhD program soon, hopefully studying adaptation and butterfly life history traits. Ultimately I would like to work as an entomologist at a museum. Other subjects that I am excited about include moths (especially tiger moths and hawk moths), the Arctic (which has its fair share of butterflies), and working sheepdogs."