Help Save the Monarchs

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Friends of Fiscalini Ranch Preserve

  • 2 people are interested
Monarchs in Pines

Every year, hundreds of thousands of monarch butterflies spend the winter in groves of trees along the Central Coast of California. However, their numbers have declined by over 95% since the 1980s and the migra­tory population is at a high risk of extinction. In the 1980s, about 10 million monarchs overwintered in coastal California, while less than 300,000 were counted in 2017. Researchers are still evaluating what may be causing the downward trend in monarch populations in California, but potential causes of the declines are:

  • Loss of milkweed and nectar plants due to herbicides, drought, wildfire and urban and agricultural development
  • Loss and degradation of overwintering groves due to development and aging
  • Other stressors such as disease, insecticides, and impacts of climate change.

Monarchs are especially vulnerable during the overwintering stage because there are so many butterflies are concentrated in just a few locations. One of those locations happens to be the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve in Cambria. We need your help to make sure this site provides the necessary habitat for them to survive. Monarchs will only overwinter in groves that provide suitable environmental conditions, such as high humidity, dappled sunlight, standing water, nectar sources and protection from high winds, storms, and fluctuating tem­peratures. We need volunteers to join our citizen science program to monitor monarch populations and/or environmental conditions in the overwintering grove. Can you give a few hours of your time to help save the monarchs?

All volunteers will be trained to count monarchs and/or collect information about habitat conditions. No prior experience is necessary. The position does require a commitment of 2-4 hours per month from October through February. It is also important that volunteers be able to work a shift starting at 8:00am or after 2:00pm, but otherwise the schedule is very flexible. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in making a difference by being a part of a citizen science project. It is also an excellent opportunity for students interested in gaining field experience in the natural sciences.

Please contact Holly at or (805) 239-3928 if you are interested.

More opportunities with Friends of Fiscalini Ranch Preserve

No additional volunteer opportunities at this time.

Animals Environment


Mon Oct 01, 2018 - Thu Feb 28, 2019


Fiscalini Ranch PreserveTipton St & Warren Rd entranceCambria, CA 93428



  • Habitat Restoration
  • General Education


  • Teens
  • People 55+



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