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.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Two Monarch Ambassador Trainings Coming Up

Back in late July we wrote about the new Monarch Ambassador program we were starting this fall.  "Monarch Ambassadors" will be volunteers who receive a training session about monarch biology and about the work of the CMBO Monarch Monitoring Project.  We also teach the Ambassadors-in-training how to conduct point counts of migrating monarchs and how to tag monarchs.  We have two training sessions coming up in the next week, both to be held at New Jersey Audubon's Nature Center of Cape May.  Both are free and open to anyone who'd like to consider becoming a volunteer Monarch Ambassador, but we do require RSVP via e-mail to  The first will be Tuesday, Sept. 8, from 1 to 3 pm, and the second is on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 10 am to noon.

We have three tasks for our Monarch Ambassadors, and each Ambassador can choose to help with 1, 2, or all three tasks.  The first is quite simple: be extra eyes for us and help explore areas along the Cape May peninsula to see if we can discover other areas where concentrations of migrating monarchs might occur.

Meadows with lots of fall flowers are places where monarchs
might be found in good numbers.
The second task is to conduct point counts of migrating monarchs at either Stone Harbor Point or East Point Light.  These are two areas where we know monarchs are sometimes quite abundant.  Doing a point count is quite simple -- you go to the designated site at a specified time and count all the monarchs flying by over a specific time period.  We're asking volunteers to spend at least 20 minutes on each point count, and we're hoping to find enough volunteers so that each site can be visited 3 times per week.

The third task is monarch tagging.  Our Monarch Ambassadors will be asked to tag monarchs in parts of the Cape May peninsula north of Cape May and Cape May Point.  We are issuing color-marked tags to the Ambassadors, and all of us working in Cape May Point will be watching for the color-marked tags.  We're trying to learn more about the way monarchs move down the Cape May peninsula before they reach Cape May Point, where the bulk of our studies are conducted.

Tagged monarch.

If you might have time to help us out, please come to one of the training sessions.  There's no obligation -- if you come to the presentation and then don't feel comfortable with the Monarch Ambassador tasks, it's not a problem.  But please, if you decide to come to either the Tuesday or the Saturday training session, be sure to let us know you're coming with an e-mail message to

We look forward to reporting back on the discoveries made by our Monarch Ambassadors this fall!

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