We are starting to gear up for the beginning of our 2015 field season, just over a month away. We will conduct our censuses, public programs, and tagging efforts in Cape May Point, as we've done for over 25 years. Our field season runs from September 1 through October 31.
This year, however, we have some new plans. We will conduct pilot studies of migrating monarchs at other locations in southern New Jersey, including Stone Harbor Point and East Point, where we have seen monarch concentrations in previous years. We're hoping to recruit and train a group of volunteers to help conduct the pilot studies and share information about monarch migration with people they meet while conducting these studies. Our trained volunteers will be known as, "Monarch Ambassadors." The research work will involve simple point counts (standing at one designated point for 20 minutes and counting all the monarchs seen during that time) and tagging monarchs with special color-marked tags.
Monarch Ambassadors will need to attend one of our training sessions. Each lasts about 2 hours, with an hour-long indoor presentation on monarch biology and the work of the Monarch Monitoring Project, and the second hour outside, learning to tag monarchs and to properly record data from point counts and from tagging. Here's the schedule:
Wednesday, September 2, at 3:00 pm, at the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor.
Tuesday, September 8, at 1:00 pm, at the Nature Center of Cape May.
Saturday, September 12, at 10:00 am, at the Nature Center of Cape May.
Tuesday, September 15, at 2:00 pm, at the Lower Township Public Library in Villas.
RSVP required: please contact us by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Along with the names of all planning to attend, please be sure to let us know which session you plan to attend and make note of any experience you have working with monarch butterflies. Please include the ages of any potential volunteers under the age of 18.