Monarch Watch Blog

Monarch Population Status

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 at 10:33 am by Jim
Filed under Monarch Population Status, Monarch Tagging | 1 Comment »

What a spring it’s been – the warmest in 117 years of record keeping and the warmest 12 months ever recorded in the United States. In response to the warm conditions the plants and insects have made early appearances. Some plants bloomed 6 weeks early, others a more modest 2 weeks. Most insects appear to have kept pace including monarchs that arrived 2-3 weeks early over most of the northern breeding range – raising the possibility of a large fall migration – maybe the last big migration this decade.

Climatologists are telling us that hotter summers with strong droughts are ahead and that won’t be good for monarchs. Habitat decline will continue as well so, let’s tag while we can. We have ordered tags for the 2012 tagging season and the orders are coming in rapidly. If you would to tag this fall, please order your tags early. If your fellow monarch enthusiasts see a large migration shaping up, we are likely to be out of tags by the 1st of September. Please place your order now so as not to be disappointed.

Monarch Watch Tagging Kits are only shipped to areas east of the Rocky Mountains.

As usual, each tagging kit includes a set of specially manufactured monarch butterfly tags (you specify quantity), a datasheet, tagging instructions, and additional monarch / migration information. Tagging Kits for the 2012 season start at only $15 and include your choice of 25, 50, 100, 200, 300, or 500 tags.

Monarch Watch Tagging Kits and other materials (don’t forget to pick up a butterfly net!) are available via the Monarch Watch Shop online at

  1. One Response to “Monarch Population Status”

  2. By Bill Hosford on Jul 10, 2012

    I have seen exactly two Monarchs this year, one in early spring when we collected and raised 26 butterflies. The other was in early June when I saw one flitter through my well stocked milkweed and nectar plant gardens. That’s it. We have, in past years, raised and/or tagged up to 150 Monarchs. We live in east central Iowa. Finally, I usuall see lots of Monarchs along the highways around her, not this year. Where are they?

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