Monarch butterflies are a keystone pollinator species, and their larvae can be found on native milkweed species in many GAPP pollinator gardens during spring and summer.
Monarch Health is a citizen science program run by Dr. Sonia Altizer in the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. It is targeted toward understanding host-parasite interactions in Monarch butterflies. The project relies on volunteers who sign up to conduct protozoan parasite testing on Monarchs in their area. The data will then be used by the organization to better understand the spread of a protozoan parasite across North America. Participants are mailed a free testing kit, and the procedure does not harm the Monarchs in any way.
Anyone who is interested in pollinator conservation and would like to help on a project that contributes to the scientific knowledge of a very important species can become involved with Monarch Health here http://www.monarchparasites.org.
Have you thanked a pollinator today?