3/08/2019

Upcoming events and here they come!

We try to post upcoming events of interest on our Calendar. Please click the "Calendar" tab above to view them and be sure to check back!

The monarchs are starting to leave their winter home in Mexico to fly north. Read this post from Journey North  -  "Here they come!"

Photo from Journey North

2/04/2019

Monarch Raising - yes or no

Please read information on the below link from Chip Taylor of Monarch Watch concerning the controversy on whether to raise or not to raise Monarch Butterflies from eggs and caterpillars.  

September 18, 2018
Monarch Watch Speaks Out About Raising Monarchs at Home


After you read it,  and as you make your plans for 2019, you may want to really think about ....
1) how many monarchs should you be raising

2) should you be raising monarchs early in the season and not into the fall migration? (stop collecting eggs/caterpillars by August 15)
3) think about raising the migrating generation outdoors to acclimatize them to natural conditions.
3) think about getting serious about checking for disease before release

4) think about changing part of your priorities to planting, planting, planting milkweed and pollinator plants. Especially pollinators that bloom in the autumn for migrating monarchs to fuel up on!
5) think about sharing your enthusiasm with friends and neighbors, schools, churches, clubs and organizations - especially about planting milkweed!


AND on another topic ... 
You may be interested in some of these upcoming webinars! Monarch Joint Venture has posted The 2019 Monarch Conservation Webinar Series 


12/04/2018

2018 Monarch Season Results

Thanks to MEI member, J. Ross, for the photo.
2018 has been a banner year for Monarchs in Eastern Iowa! 

Our dedicated members raised and released a whopping 21,036 monarchs from eggs and caterpillars this year.  This total surpassed the past 4 years (2014-2017) cumulative total of 18,321 raised monarchs. 

In the five years of our group's existence members have raised over 39,000 monarchs. This shows OUTSTANDING dedication and effort! This year we added 300 members bringing our total membership to 1400.

OTHER 2018 TOTALS 

Each year members voluntarily fill out information they have collected. Please note that not all members kept track of their activities.

 -
Number of monarch eggs, cats or butterflies adopted out to neighbors, friends, & classrooms - 1,927
 - Female monarchs released - 7,269 
 - Male monarchs released - 7,060 
 - Deceased caterpillars - 758
 - Number of monarchs tagged and released to fly to Mexico - 2,592

OTHER ACTIVITIES OF OUR MEI GROUP IN 2018

 - Meet & Greet joint meeting with the Muscatine Pollinator Project
 - Making milkweed seedballs at the EcoFest in Cedar Rapids for Milkweed Matters RAGBRAI initiative

 - Passed out info and free milkweed plants at Indian Creek Nature Center's Spring Plant Sale 
 - Helped sponsor a presentation, "The Monarchs are Coming", by Debbie Jackson, Monarch Watch Conservation Specialist, at Indian Creek Nature Center along with an information table.
 - Manned information and milkweed/pollinator plant give-away tables and volunteered at Indian Creek Nature Center's "Monarch Fest".  Harvested milkweed leaves from a local prairie and supplied caterpillars and eggs for the ICNC Monarch Festival as well as their children's programs throughout the season.
 - Information table at Fairfax, Iowa, Monarch Festival (put on by one of our members)
 - Encouraged members to register their growing area to be a Monarch Waystation (there were quite a few takers!) 
 - Many presentations, slide shows, and talks by members to groups and in classrooms.
 - Helped harvest milkweed for "Milkweeds for Monarchs", a project of Monarch Research Project
 - Held a milkweed and pollinator seed exchange in the fall in Ely, Iowa, for members and the public.
 - Facilitated several presentations about Monarchs in Mexico by Ellen Sharp, Cultural anthropologist, who lives at the entry of Cerro Pelon, a Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Mexico, and is co-owner of JM Butterfly B&B and director of Butterflies & Their People, A.C.

Thank you, thank you, thank you all for supporting our beautiful monarchs as we look forward to the new year!  Plan to PLANT MORE MILKWEED & PLANT MORE POLLINATOR PLANTS for 2019!