Monarchs

Our Objective

Our objective is to develop Monarch Zones (MZ)—homes, cities, counties that are committed to our goal of repopulating the butterfly population. We will provide the foundation for you, and you in turn can help others. We want you to educate and encourage neighbors, family and friends.

Monarch zones are located in parks, schools, homes, businesses, wherever people live and work. The zone owners have the following goals:

  • Raise and release monarchs using a BioTent™ natural rearing protocol.
  • Add significant habitat; gardens and prairies rich in native forbs, milkweed, and grasses.
  • Educate themselves and others by taking full advantage of the MRP staff and materials.  
  • Measure, assess, and report results to the Monarch Research Station.

 

About the Monarch BioTent

A protected environment is essential to the successful rearing of monarch butterflies. Predation is the single largest factor in caterpillar mortality. Rates of survival will grow from less than 5% in the wild to over 80% in a protected enclosure. We have been fine-tuning the process so that you will be as successful as possible in raising butterflies

The MRP has spent considerable time over the past four years developing a rearing tent specifically for the monarch. The Monarch BiotTent™ is a super screen mesh tent, with a heavy zipper door, providing consistent airflow and temperature control while allowing rain flow for plants. We’ve tested this structure with milkweed, nectar plants, monarch butterfly eggs, caterpillars and paired mating monarchs with great success.

6x6 BioTent

Cam and Jabe checking stock in a 6×6 BioTent.

The BioTent comes in two sizes: 6×6 and a 9×9.  These tents are sold exclusively through the Monarch Research Project and are available for pick up at the MRS in Marion, Iowa.

For buyers outside of the area, shipping can be arranged at buyer’s expense. Shipping costs vary depending on location and we do our best to find the most economical shipping methods. Please email us to coordinate shipping. Order a BioTent

Resources

Mr. Lund Science

Mr. Lund Science offers a series of videos on monarch care and rearing:

HOMEOWNERS: HOW-TO GUIDES FOR ESTABLISHING POLLINATOR GARDENS

Homeowners with all sizes of land can contribute to pollination efforts. Establishing Pollinator Meadows from Seed is a 12-page guide created by The Xerces Society providing step by step instruction and helpful hints on creating pollinator habitat on your property.

Project Pollinator:  Building Gardens for Pollinators: A Comprehensive “How-to” Guide was produced by the US Fish & Wildlife Services. You’ll find straight forward how-to’s and facts pertaining to pollinator and good gardens, as well as a wealth of additional resources and links at the end of this guide.

The Xerces Society publishes regional planting guides for Monarch nectar plants. Check out this comprehensive list of nectar plants native or adapted to the Midwest: Midwest Monarch Nectar Plants.

The Monarch Joint Venture (MJV) is a partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic programs that are working together to support and coordinate efforts to protect the monarch migration across the lower 48 United States.  On their website you’ll find information on Monarch life cycle, threats, and migration, as well as tangible guides on how to Create Habitat for Monarchs.