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Citizen Science Program to Track Monarchs, Milkweeds in Wyoming

July 11, 2016
butterfly resting on a milkweed flower
Citizen scientists can help researchers track information about monarch butterflies and milkweed plants in Wyoming this summer. (Dorothy Tuthill Photo)

A citizen science program is seeking volunteers to help researchers track information about monarch butterflies and milkweed plants in Wyoming this summer.

The Monarchs and Milkweeds program is a statewide program in which citizen scientists can gather observations of where, when and how many monarchs and milkweed plants appear in Wyoming. Volunteers will submit their observations into WyoBio, a citizen science Web portal for Wyoming.

“Biologists know very little about where monarchs travel in Wyoming, in what part of the summer and in what densities,” says Brenna Marsicek, project coordinator for the University of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute. “We also have very limited understanding of where the 12 milkweed species native to Wyoming are found in the state and if monarchs are using them to lay eggs.”

Nationwide, the monarch butterfly population is in decline. The butterfly was petitioned for the Endangered Species Act listing in 2014, which makes it critical to know more about this beautiful creature, Marsicek says.

The Monarchs and Milkweeds program is sponsored by the UW Biodiversity Institute, the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database and The Nature Conservancy.

For more information or to volunteer, visit

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