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Rescue, Raise & Release. Help the Monarchs

This is O'Hara Commons' fifth year in growing Monarch Butterfly awareness in the Bitterroot Valley. We have been learning, recording and sharing information in our youth and outreach programs. We started 'The Monarch Project: Rescue, Raise & Release' in 2016 and during the past 5 Years the status of the western Monarch butterfly population has plummeted.

There are many presumed reasons for their decline, but most agree that loss of habitat is a leading concern. Monarch butterflies will only lay eggs on the native plant of milkweed, a roadside plant that is cut and sprayed at critical times of egg laying and caterpillar development. It is estimated that one in ten Monarch eggs will survive to adulthood.

We are looking for volunteers to monitor stands of milkweed that are proven breeding areas for the Monarch Butterflies. You will rescue eggs and either bring them to O'Hara Commons to be raised and released, or complete the cycle on your own. In the days of Covid-19, we have decided that the best way to offering training is to have you watch a fantastic series on Youtube. There are multiple installments in this series, created by Mr Lund. It was created about six years ago, but the information pertaining to rescuing, raising and releasing Monarchs is still relevant. (this is the first of the series, you can follow the links for further installments.

Topics covered are include: identifying milkweed species, growing milkweed from seed, establishing nectaries and breeding habitat for Monarch butterflies, identifying Monarch eggs, responsibly rearing Monarchs from eggs, Monarch lifecycle (including migration), diseases and troubleshooting.

The first Monarchs arrive in Montana around the beginning to middle June. It is our intention to have a gaggle of volunteers ready to help bolster their population and cultivate habitat for future generations. Have a watch and if you are interested then get in touch with Samantha at:

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