What is a mission?

Conducting a mission and participating in Mission Monarch is simple and fun! You can do as many missions as you want during the summer. It can be in urban or rural areas; as long as there is milkweed. While we encourage participants to survey different locations, the same location can be surveyed once a month. To conduct a mission, just follow the following steps:

First step   Find milkweed

Go outside and look for milkweed. It can be wild as well as cultivated milkweed. To learn how to recognize milkweed and know where to find it, click here.

 

Second step Verify presence of monarch

Carefully examine milkweeds, looking for monarch caterpillars. They can be on or under leaves, in flowers or on fruits. It is important to look everywhere! Note the number milkweed stems you examined. It can be only one stem or a hundred; it’s up to you! Also note the number of caterpillars you find. Even if you find none, it is worth reporting. If you see eggs, chrysalises, or adult butterflies, you can also note their numbers aside. To learn how to recognize the monarch’s different life stages, click here.

 

Third step Write down your observations

To compile your observations, you can use the field observation form. Count and write down the number milkweed stems you examine. You may count only one stem or a hundred; it’s up to you! You may also write down the number of caterpillars you find. If several species of milkweed are growing at the location of your survey, count the stems and associated caterpillars separatly. Even if you find no monarch, it is worth reporting it. If you see eggs, chrysalises, or adult butterflies, you can also note their abundance aside. To learn how to recognize the monarch’s different life stages, click here.

 

Fourth step Sign up and submit your data

If you don’t already have an account, fill this sign up form to create one. You can submit your observations either directly in the field or back home, on a mobile device or a home computer, through this form. Note that you must be signed in to proceed.