Very little is known in Nevada about the multi-generational Western population of monarch butterflies. Beginning in 2016, a comprehensive study is underway at selected sites on and off Stillwater NWR to help fill these data gaps. Community 'Citizen Scientists' and the refuge summer Youth Conservation Corps work with refuge staff to count milkweed plants, observe and record monarch life stages, test for parasite infestation and tag adult butterflies.
Data collected is uploaded to the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, Journey North and the Southwest Monarch Study. So far, it looks like all four generations of monarchs may occur in our area. The majority of this 'super generation' migrates in October-November to coastal California, but a few may make the 2000 mile journey to Mexico where the larger U.S. population of monarchs spend the winter. After roosting several months, they will return to NV in March and begin the next 1st generation of new monarchs.
We are hoping to receive a report of one of our tagged Nevada adults from either wintering location!