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Tracking Monarch Butterflies on Offshore Oil Platforms

Raised toward our $8,000 Goal
60 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on May 01, at 11:59 PM CDT
Project Owners

Mobile app ready for beta testers!

August 26, 2015


The mobile app for Marine Monarchs is not ready for beta testing.  I'm looking for a few good iPhone/iPad users to spend a few minutes sorting through it and thinking about problems.  All I need from you is a name and email, and I'll have the developer send you a link.  There is website now with instructions and a brief description, so it's pretty easy.  Thanks again for your support!

Regards, Tracy


Monarch butterfly project update

August 17, 2015


The monarch butterfly project has made good progress.  Our app for reporting from offshore sites is nearly ready.  I've been busy doing the initial testing for the developers and we should have it released to beta testers in the next week or so.  It's a race to see if it will be ready to deploy by Oct., but I think we will make it.  I've attached the cover art for the app drawn by Kim Rullo.  I think it's very attractive.  She likes drawing flying things and has a delightful logo she made for a store called The Flying Squirrel. 

Thanks again for supporting Marine Monarchs. This project is very different than my normal marine science day job and is large fun!

Regards, Tracy



Marching along

April 06, 2015

Good afternoon,

I am up in Minnesota today at a meeting of the Keystone Policy Center focused on figuring out ways to add more monarch habitat.  While I am here as a science advisor for the Association for Butterflies, I will find many opportunities to mention the Gulf project.  This is an interesting meeting of academics, industry and NGOs.   Maybe something will come of it, maybe not. 

Thanks to the generous donations, we have almost reached $2,000. With the match, it means we are almost halfway there. Please remember that crowdfunding works by word of mouth, so causually mention your generosity to your friends and on social medium, and urge them to donate for this VERY WORTHY CAUSE as well.  Any amount helps!



Major announcement on matching funds coming!

March 13, 2015


There is a  major announcement coming about serious matching funds!  Stay tuned for when we go live.

Tracy V.

New Partner!

March 18, 2015

Dr. Chip Taylor of the University of Kansas and Director of Monarch Watch has joined the team.  He brings a $4,000 match to the table. Please help us equal this challenge and reap the rewards of his generosity!  Monarch Watch is one of the largest citizen scientist organizations in the country and conducts an annual tagging program that tracks the monarch butterfly.   See his bio for more information!

First day!

March 19, 2015

Thanks everybody for making the first day so successful!  I've gotten a lot of good feedback on the site as well as suggestions for how to improve the description. In particular, I had omitted to mention tha the app stores data when it is out of cell contact. It has internal maps for presenting the data, so once you have downloaded it,  you are pretty much independent of cell comunication. 

Let's hope we continue to roll!




Busy week

March 23, 2015


Thanks to everyone for making this first week so successful!  I appreciate the help.  Our app developers have been busy working thorough the technical side of acquiring the weather information. It actually was a challenge to get real time data since that is usually only available from major airports for free.  There are lots of private weather stations, but Chip and I were concerned with quaility control issues as well as siting of the all-important direction.  I've noted on my local weather sites that places named "Joe's Porch" can have wind direction and speeds which are, how shall we say, inconsistent with other readings.  In addition, local conditions (vegetation, buildings, etc) can make a big difference. So, we decided to use the 1 hour archived data that can be accessed by the app when the data is uploaded, and use locally gathered information for the general picture and collect site specific information as needed.  

Regards, Tracy 

We made it!

May 04, 2015


The hornraising  portion of the project is over and we exceeded out goal by about $500.  I am very grateful to everybody that participated and help spread the word.  The next step is to build the app and expand the networking to offshore workers. Thanks to your help, we are well on the way to successful deployment for the fall migration.

Regards, Tracy Villareal



Choose a giving level


Level 1 EGG

A gift at this level is paving the way for a successful project. Somewhere, someone in the Gulf will be looking at a monarch and recording its presence. That's your butterfly!



Your gift will lead to enhancement of application features, such as altitude, flight vector and butterfly body direction. Now your butterfly has movement!


Level 3 PUPA

A gift at this level will allow pictures to be uploaded with location data. Perhaps someone will see masses of roosting butterflies on a rig or ship. Pictures tell a mighty story and your gift can help share the story.



Fly free and help us include weather information in the report. Strong winds from the right direction can waft the monachs over vast distances. They even make it to England by the agency of the wind!



A donation by you at this level will give us a year's worth of service and support. 2016 could be your year! Imagine, thousands of observations flowing into the database because of your gift.



Your donation will take this to the next level and allow an Android version to be built. This is enabling far more than butterfly observations. It will permit the app's modular functionality to be applied to any problem using the Android OS. We need 3 donors!

Our Crowdfunding Groups