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Schultz Research Group Conservation Biology

Western Monarch Mystery Challenge


Updated April 2021

Western monarch butterfly counts have hit another record low (source). We are currently looking for your help if you’ve seen a monarch, of any life stage (egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly), in the west.

The Western Monarch Mystery Challenge is a community science campaign running February 14th through April 22nd 2021, formed by researchers from Washington State University, Tufts University, UC Santa Cruz, and the Xerces Society to learn more about monarchs in order to inform urgent conservation efforts. And we’re giving out a $50 REI gift card to one lucky participant per week!


How to participate:

  1. If you see a monarch outside of overwintering groves, take a picture! (Don’t worry, it can be far away and blurry).
  2. Report it through the following options and be sure to include date and location:
    1.  iNaturalist (the app is free)
    2.  Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper OR
    3.  Email it to

You’ll be entered to win a prize every week you report a sighting.

Don’t forget to stay updated by following us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.



If you participated in our challenge, take this survey so we can learn more about you!


Monarch Mystery Challenge Educational Activity – Click Here

Are you the key to solving the mystery of western migratory monarch recovery? Learn how you can help scientists discover what these beautiful butterflies need to rebuild their population.