White-nose syndrome has been confirmed for the first time in Oklahoma, making it the 31st state with the deadly disease that affects hibernating bats. Bats play an important ecological role; each bat can eat up to 3,000 insects, including mosquitoes and agricultural pests, in a single night. Biologists are concerned about how white-nose syndrome will affect the bat populations in the future.
President’s Note: Integrated Monarch Monitoring Program
Several weeks ago I attended a training for the Integrated Monarch Monitoring Program, sponsored by Okies for Monarchs and taught by the Monarch Joint Venture Group. The idea is to train individuals on how to set up a monarch monitoring program on property they have access to.
The organization has randomly assigned plots all over the United States, and also accepts self-designated plots. The data gathering is designed so that everyone participating gathers information in the same way.
The trainings are to ensure everyone understands how to gather and report their information. Data is gathered from the plots during the months monarchs are found in North America.
It is a very comprehensive program. Since little is known about the condition of current monarch populations and habitat conditions while the butterfly is in North America, the monitoring program is set up to capture the needed data.
Please take some time to familiarize yourself with the important work being done by Okies for Monarchs and the Monarch Joint Venture. In the future, additional trainings may be offered in Oklahoma. Consider participating and helping gather the needed information.
This project requires dedication and attention to detail and seeks to engage partners across government, academia, and NGOs, along with citizen scientists. More information can be found at these websites: