Monday, October 12, 2009

Monarch Tagging



The Clinton Community Nature Center held a Monarch Tagging event on Saturday. Because we had been involved in raising monarch caterpillars from eggs back in April, we went out to learn more about this stage in the process of monitoring the monarch population. Dr. Bill Stark from Mississippi College shared a slide show of the monarch life cycle, other butterflies he has seen in the area, and information about monarch migration.

Tagging kits may be ordered here:

Monarch migration is recorded here:

We may start seeing migrating monarchs in Mississippi. There have been a couple of reports recently from our state. The butterflies that we tagged on Saturday had been raised from eggs found in September by students at Mississippi College. These butterflies will attempt to make the journey to Mexico, and the tags will help researchers better understand migration patterns.

Dr. Stark brought the butterflies to the event in small envelopes carried in a plastic box. He carefully pulled each butterfly out of the envelope, held the wings together between his thumb and index finger, and put an adhesive tag on the underside of the wing. He recorded the tag number, date, location, and sex of the butterfly. Holding it in the same manner, each child was able to take a butterfly outside to release into the wild.

My friend Sarah Campbell and her husband Richard captured a butterfly release and some amazing photos with their powerful cameras and photographic expertise. Please take a look at her blog entry for this event and make sure to watch the monarch movie on her website. You might recognize a couple of children in the movie! Sarah also has some monarch close-ups with and without tags here.
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2 comments:

Jen said...

How wonderful! I love the movie especially! What a special weekend y'all had!

mrs. misenar said...

very cool...