More than two decades ago, I spotted a monarch on Sea Island in February. To say the least, I was surprised. At the time, I convinced myself that the butterfly might have been one that was released during one of the many wedding ceremonies staged at the Cloister. However, recent evidence suggests that the butterfly might have been trying to winter in the state.
It seems that last year volunteers reported more than 5,800 monarch sighting made throughout the Southeast and Gulf States. This has prompted biologists to launch studies designed to determine how many monarchs are seen each winter in this part of the world and how they might affect the future of the monarch.
One of these studies is named Monarchs Overwintering in Southeastern States. It is being sponsored by a number of partners including the University of Georgia, Georgia Wildlife Conservation Section, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and Monarchs over Georgia.
We all can help by reporting any monarchs seen from December 1-March 1 in the states of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.
In you want to take part in this fascinating study, the first thing you need to do is create a free account at journeynorth.org/reg. Once have accomplished this, learn how to report monarch sightings at journeynorth.org/monarchs. Then whenever you spot a butterfly during the reporting period, submit it at journeynorth.org/sightings.