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Schultz Research Group Conservation Biology

Western Monarch Mystery Challenge


May 2023

We have now officially completed the fourth year of the Western Monarch Mystery Challenge!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated. With your help, we have a much better understanding what monarchs are doing in early spring – a critical period in their annual migratory cycle.

Stay tuned for the 2024 Challenge!

The Western Monarch Mystery Challenge is a community science campaign running February 14th through April 22nd 2023, formed by researchers from Washington State University, UC Davis, 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.

If you have some spare time, we’d like to know how you’ve heard about us and your feedback to further improve our project by participating in a quick survey.

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




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.