About the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project
Our mission is to better understand the distribution and abundance of breeding monarchs and to use that knowledge to inform and inspire monarch conservation.
The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (MLMP) is a citizen science project involving volunteers from across the United States and Canada in monarch research. It was developed in 1997 by researchers at the University of Minnesota to collect long-term data on larval monarch populations and milkweed habitat. The project focuses on monarch distribution and abundance during the breeding season in North America.
As an MLMP volunteer, your contributions will aid in conserving monarchs and their threatened migratory phenomenon, and advance our understanding of butterfly ecology in general. You can learn more about monarch conservation here.
The MLMP is still maintained by staff and students at the University of Minnesota Monarch Lab, and volunteers participate from across North America.
Does your heart soar and fill with wonder when a monarch flutters by? Are you concerned about the monarch population or wildlife in general?
Participating in the MLMP makes a difference. It is an exciting way for monarch and nature enthusiasts to contribute basic knowledge about monarch population dynamics, and foster monarch and habitat conservation. Help from volunteers across the country gives scientists a bigger and better understanding of the health of the monarch population. Your involvement is the key!
MLMP volunteers are always learning. During MLMP training sessions, volunteers learn about monarch biology, practice monitoring and data entry protocols, and receive information necessary to conduct monitoring. Or, you can learn on your own with our online training video series and the instructions provided on the activity datasheets. A monitoring kit with tools to aid in monitoring is available from our online store. Learning to monitor is only the beginning; your observations and data collection activities will invoke awareness of and curiosity about the local environment. Volunteers communicate with monarch scientists with their questions and concerns through email. All data are compiled by scientists and made available to volunteers and other researchers. So, you’ll see your direct contribution to increased understanding of the monarch population.
Monitoring for the MLMP can be done alone or with others; many people volunteer with friends, family, or neighbors. This project is a terrific way to introduce people of all ages to science and nature. Whether you’re passionate about monarchs, nature, conservation, or continued learning, the MLMP is the project for you! Please consider signing up today, contact us for further information on how to become an MLMP volunteer, or check to see if there will be a training session near you. We hope to hear from you!
We are looking forward to your contributions in the upcoming monitoring season!