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Ga. DNR requests public’s help in reporting winter monarch sightings

Ga. DNR requests public’s help in reporting winter monarch sightings
Ga. DNR requests public’s help in reporting winter monarch sightings(Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division)
Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 12:41 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is asking for the public’s help in gathering information on a species close to being considered endangered - Monarch Butterflies.

The department is joining a multi-state effort to better understand what happens to the population when butterflies stay in the South instead of migrating to Mexico in the winter.

Thousands of monarchs stream across the South each fall on their way to wintering grounds in central Mexico. In the spring, this eastern population of the butterfly returns to the U.S. and Canada to breed. But not all monarchs migrate to Mexico. Volunteer observations over the past two decades have helped scientists better understand how and why some monarchs breed throughout the winter in the southern U.S. Scattered reports also suggest that some monarchs can overwinter in coastal regions in a non-breeding state, similar to their wintering behavior in Mexico, according to DNR.

The public is encouraged to report monarch sightings from Dec. 1-March 1 in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

Here’s how to take part:

Observations are entered in Journey North’s online data portal, where they are transformed into real-time mapping visualizations of monarch migration and breeding. Journey North is an organization designed to engage people across North America in tracking wildlife migration and seasonal change.

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