Naturalist's Worksite News
2022 Monarch Report - Annapolis Valley
Published on Aug 17, 2022
2022 was a very good year for Monarch breeding in the Annapolis Valley. The following information is for just the Common milkweed field (2 ha) in Brooklyn Corner, N.S. Other people in the Annapolis Valley are also seeing good succcess in the number of Monarchs. A summary of the number of Monarch butterflies seen during this summer is:
- Over 100 Monarch butterflies were counted in the field at the peak of the population
- Over 80 Chrysalis were found and marked with flags in the field at peak emergence.
- 190 Monarch were released from captive breeding and 93 'Wild' Monarchs were recued from the field for release.
- 75 Monarchs were tagged with Monarch Watch tags at this site and 24 more were tagged from a release site in Greenwich, N.S.
- 21 May - The first Monarch visits and stays through June
- 10 June - First Monarch egg found
- 13 June - First Larva found
- 4 July - The main migration north arrives and population increases dramatically
- 11 July - First eclosure and release of a Monarch Butterfly
- 4 September - last egg found
- 15 September - last tagged Monarch released
- 1 October - last reared Monarch released
- 6 October - last recued Monarch released
- 17 October - last Monarch butterfly seen in the field
Below is the count of Monarch butterflies seen in our field of milkweed throughout the season. We have also noted the number of coupled pairs in the count for that day. Counts are only done every two or three days.
Click on the chart for a larger version
Before mowing the lawn and trails near the field we survey for eggs and larva then protect and feed them until they eclose as butterflies. These we tag along with wild Monarchs. The chart below shows the time line of releases. It is estimated from surveys of marked chrysalis that in September we were getting over 10 eclosures per day in the field so the productivity was very good this year.
Click on the chart for a larger image.
We keep data on all the Monarchs we help. Before we release each butterfly, we measure its wing length. This is used to determine which are the best Monarchs to tag and provides a measue of the health of the population. The length can vary from 46 to 56 mm but most have length near 52 mm.