Oregon

The information for Southern Oregon was provided by Tom Landis, nurseries@aol.com.  Please contact him for additional information about the update.

OREGON MONARCH UPDATE 8/9/2020

 

Information provided by Dennis Triglia

Monarch news from Oregon varies considerably throughout the state.  Overall, the number of monarch sightings, eggs and caterpillars has been discouragingly slow but things are looking up. 

June - This year started out promising when Tom Landis photographed a female monarch in his home waystation on June 14th, and found 4 eggs on narrowleaf milkweed.  Unfortunately none of them hatched but merely dried up.  In Central Oregon, Chris Jensen saw 3 monarchs, and netted and tagged a at Clarno on the John Day river.

July – Monarch activity increased in southern Oregon with thirteen monarch eggs or caterpillars located by five different monarch advocates.  Lynn Kuntsman found a late instar caterpillar on July 8th, had the first monarch to eclose, and tagged and released a healthy male on July 23rd.

Female monarch spotted on showy milkweed at Clarno, OR by Chris Jensen on June 2, 2020.

Late instar caterpillar found by Lynn Kuntzman in east Medford on July 8, 2020

Chris netted and tagged the monarch which will hopefully lay some eggs.

Male monarch tagged and released by Lynn Kuntzman in east Medford on July 23rd

August – Monarch sightings continue to improve with activity across the state.  One of our most experienced monarch advocates, Ling Helphand, finally spotted a female monarch on August 2 and found 4 eggs in her Ashland Waystation.  Tanya Havniear of Talent, OR has had a flurry of monarch activity and has been finding eggs on her narrowleaf milkweed. 

On August 6th, Ida Galash reported the first monarch of the season on her Portland Monarch Facebook page. Everyone has been waiting to see if another Brookings Eggstravganza would happen this year on the southern Oregon coast and, after a very slow start, Holly Beyer just spotted a monarch laying eggs in her large monarch waystation.

 

So, fingers crossed!

All monarch advocates in Oregon have been working diligently to increase awareness, maintain  monarch waystations, and create new habitat for all types of pollinators.

 

Amanda Egertson of the Deschutes Land Trust Butterfly Brigade in Bend has been getting the word out in spite of Covid-19 through virtual presentations to groups of 50 to 100 people.  They have also mailed out over 1000 packages of locally-adapted native milkweed seed.

 

Amanda is also working with local native plants nurseries to grow 2000 milkweed plants which will be planted with local volunteers and school groups.

NEWS FROM THE SENATE

 

Dennis Triglia of the Brookings Oregon Monarch Advocates has been leading our political efforts to help western monarchs.  Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley was instrumental in introducing the Monarch Action, Recovery, and Conservation of Habitat (MONARCH) Act, which is bipartisan legislation to help our western monarchs. 

 

Click here to read more about how.

"Now is the time to make the changes we need to protect our pollinators before it’s too late -- and I’m thankful for the important work of researchers in Oregon who are helping to make that happen." 

So, in spite of COVID-19, Oregon Monarch Advocates are making progress in our efforts to increase western monarch populations.

NEWS FROM THE COAST (BROOKINGS)

 

The update from Brookings is really easy (and dismal) at this point in time.  By this point in time last year, we were 18 days into the egg dump from "Ovaltine" who arrived at Holly's on July 2, 2019 and started the "Brookings Eggsplosion of 2019".  No member of BOMA has yet seen an adult monarch, egg or caterpillar, except for one who lives in Smith River, California (about 10 miles south of Brookings) and claims to have seen a monarch (and reported it to Monarch Watch on June 2nd)...no photograph was taken.  She reports the first monarch every year in this area, usually much earlier than any are sighted in Brookings:


 

Most of my showy milkweed grew really well, flowered and the flowers are now going over.  Holly Beyer and I have lots of milkweed (Asclepias speciosa, fascicularis, incarnata, syriaca), and I have at least one potted plant each of A. cordifolia, ovalifolia, purpurascens, asperula, sullivantii, eriocarpa, verticillata, curassavica, tuberosa, and viridis, but no little cat mouths to feed. 

Advocacy for western Monarchs started in Oregon with Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates (SOMA), and there are now more advocate groups in Oregon than in any other western state:

Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates (SOMA)

www.somonarchs.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/somonarchs

Monarch Advocates of Central Oregon

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/monarchadvocatesofcentraloregon

Brookings Oregon Monarch Advocates (BOMA)

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/2291948784231045/

Portland Monarchs

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/400354500657632/

Monarch and Milkweed Network: Eugene/Springfield

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MonarchsMilkweedEugeneSpringfield/

NATIVE MILKWEED IN OREGON

Native milkweed presence and health is a big concern throughout the northwest.  Five species of milkweeds are native to Oregon and all are used as a larval host by western monarchs:

The two most common species are showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) and narrowleaf milkweed (A. fascicularis) can be found throughout Oregon as shown by the Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper:

Milkweeds and pollinator plants are adapted to their local environment, and so we recommend that the Level III Ecoregions be used as seed zones which are designated by different colors in the following map.  The monarch advocates listed have agreed to serve as information sources to help find local sources of milkweeds and pollinator plants.

Download PDF articles about propagating, growing, buying milkweeds, and developing monarch waystations:

Contacts for Information on Monarchs in Oregon

Stephanie Hazen

stephaniehazen17 @gmail.com

Dennis Triglia

trigliad@yahoo.com

Finding Locally-adapted Milkweed Seeds, Plants and other Pollinator Plants

 

Milkweeds and pollinator plants are adapted to their local environment, and so we recommend that the Level III Ecoregions be used as seed zones which are designated by different colors in the following map.  The monarch advocates listed have agreed to serve as information sources to help find local sources of milkweeds and pollinator plants.

Monarch Waystations in Oregon

Monarch advocacy groups in Oregon have been creating monarch waystations (specialized pollinator gardens) in backyard gardens for many years. 

 

They have also established community-scale monarch waystations in highly visible locations that are useful for educating the public and fostering support for western monarchs.

 

We have also helped restore monarch habitat on large rural acreages.

This waystation sign is posted at the entrance to the Sampson Creek Preserve where 40 acres of monarch habitat were restored

Here are a few examples in Southwest Oregon:

Coyote Trails Nature Center in Southern Medford

 

This is the oldest and most developed waystation in the area and is easily accessible along the Bear Creek Bike Trail and the road leading to the baseball fields.A nearby picnic shelter and ADA pathway make it accessible to all ages.

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J.H. Stone Nursery in Central Point

 

This Waystation was developed with the help of the U.S. Forest Service staff in March of 2014, and planted with native milkweed and other pollinator plants in April and May.  The nursery grows milkweed and pollinator plants and donated some transplants to the Waystation. 

 

Since there is no water source, we had to irrigate with 5-gallon water cans throughout the summer and, over Labor Day weekend, we found our first monarch caterpillars.  Due to vigorous grass and forb competition, maintenance has been on ongoing issue, so a thick mulch layer was applied in 2019 to save water and reduce weed growth.

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Welcome Center on Interstate 5 near Ashland

 

This newest monarch waystation was made possible by the Oregon Department of Transportation who constructed the raised bed at the south end of the complex.  Native milkweeds and pollinator plants were installed in early May, 2014 and watered-in using an ODOT truck with a 200-gallon water tank. 

 

ODOT crews have agreed to water the plants weekly through the summer.  This high visibility location will provide an excellent way to educate the public on the need to help monarchs, bees, and other pollinators.

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Oregon advocates have also taken some of the first steps to create Waystations on golf courses, and a former fish hatchery!

Oregon’s Role in the WSU Pacific Norwest Monarch Tagging Program

 

There are several entities that work together tagging our monarchs to learn more about where, when, and how our amazing western monarchs migrate throughout the northwestern US.

Oregonians have been participating in the WSU Pacific Northwest Monarch Tagging Program, under the direction of Dr. David James since its inception in 2012. The WSU PNW Monarch tagging program utilizing prison inmates, citizen scientists, agency professionals and naturalists, has reared and tagged 29,270 Monarchs. The program also tagged 1334 wild Monarchs during the same period.

Our own butterfly expert, Ms. Linda Kappen from Applegate OR, has been working on this research with Dr. James since 2012.  Linda also has one of the earliest monarch waystations registered with Monarch Watch in the state! (Waystation #1930).

 

Linda is the project’s research tagging liaison for the southern half of Oregon, and provides the tagging materials and guidelines for community science taggers located from the Eugene area on to the south, from the Oregon coast to the eastern border.  Linda not only provides materials and training for the tagging team, she also collects their data each year and reports them to WSU.

 

If you are interested in learning more about tagging monarchs in So Oregon, contact Linda at: humbugkapps@hotmail.com

Linda Kappen tagging a wild monarch butterfly as part of the WSU tagging project.

Thanks to the tagging programs, there are many amazing stories of monarch migration from Oregon that could be told.

 

For example, the record for Monarch longevity in the western US is currently held by a “Oregonian” male tagged and released in Ashland OR in August 2018, recovered 10 months later 560 miles away, still alive at 312 days old, in Cayucos CA!

“Methusela”.  The oldest known western monarch to date who lived at least 312 days!

The information for Central Oregon was provided by Amanda Egertson, amanda@deschuteslandtrust.org.  Please contact her for additional information about the update.

AUGUST 9, 2020 UPDATE

 

The Central Oregon groups  have still been going strong and getting the word out regarding the Western issues in spite of Covid-19 with virtual presentations, often with 50-100 people, then live-streamed to others.  There continues to be large interest and many folks requesting milkweed seed.  The Deschutes Land Trust has mailed out over 1000 packages of native milkweed seed.  They are also currently growing 2000 milkweed plants hoping to provide them for free to groups this fall, including schools and other local groups.  

The Deschutes Land Trust (DLT) has given away 10’s of thousands of showy milkweed seeds at events, gatherings, etc. and are now (due to covid-19) mailing them to anyone in our area who reaches out and requests them. These seeds were made available to us through a partnership with USFWS and we are distributing them across Central Oregon (for free, of course).

 

DLT has numerous blog posts, videos, etc. on our website - to help guide people through how to plant milkweed seeds, how to identify monarch butterflies (and other butterflies in our region), what other pollinator-friendly plants to include in your backyard, how to make monarch wings (if you want to dress up like a monarch), and much more.

 

DLT has ordered a couple thousand plants (showy milkweed, narrowleaf milkweed, and many native pollinator-friendly plants) that we’ll be giving away this fall as we work with partners across our region to plant pollinator gardens that will benefit monarchs, bees, hummingbirds, and more. Many of the gardens will be at local schools.

 

DLT will be developing a monarch brochure that we’ll distribute at future presentations, gatherings, or upon request. It’ll have helpful information on monarchs, native milkweed, other pollinator-friendly plants and gardening tips.

 

DLT continues to coordinate efforts with MACO (Monarch Advocates of Central Oregon.)

 

Some Deschutes Land Trust website links: 

A US Senate Bill was introduced in February 2020 to enact the "Monarch Action, Recovery, and Conservation of Habitat Act of 2020. It was referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works after two readings on the Senate floor, when it was introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley (OR), and three other Senator co-sponsors, Ron Wyden (OR), Cory Booker (NJ)  and Kamala Harris (CA).  Executive summary:  It is all about the western population, is straight forward and easy to read.  It begins with some salient findings about the current plight, asks to set up a grant program, allows open eligibility, includes  a review and approval method for potential grants, and would establish a fund of $12.5M/yr for the next 5 years.

Given the current political climate, S.3304 is unlikely to pass.  Notwithstanding, we think that these Senators, and indeed all others as well, need to hear from as many monarch advocacy groups, municipalities and organizations as possible.  Listed here is attached the letter of support that the WMA has submitted.

Videos about the Western Monarch Summit
MONARCH NEWS IN OREGON
USEFUL LINKS
SOUTHERN OREGON
CENTRAL OREGON

Help Us Conserve the

Western Monarch

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received a petition to list the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Their decision is due December 2020.  https://www.fws.gov/savethemonarch/SSA.html

Important Links

WMA provides and updates the information on these pages as a vehicle to encourage people to seek and interact with each other. We make no representation other than that.  This is not a formal "clearing house" where all information is vetted or approved by another organization or government entity.

© 2020 Western Monarch Advocates

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