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Schultz Research Group Conservation Biology

Western Monarch Mystery Challenge

January 2023

We’re back!

In 2022, we received over 600 monarch butterfly sightings – a record number! We also surpassed the amount of monarch butterfly sightings in the Central Valley during the challenge period in 2020 and 2021. We hope to keep up the momentum in 2023 and we look forward to increasing records of monarchs in the West. See the contributions from previous years by clicking here. We appreciate all the sightings you’ve reported to us so far!

Stay tuned for the beginning of the fourth season of the Western Monarch Mystery Challenge!


The Western Monarch Mystery Challenge is a community science campaign running February 14th through April 22nd 2022, 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.

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.