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Monarch Butterfly Tagging during Fall Migration

I am tagging monarch butterflies for the fall migration that is taking place now and normally lasts until November.     The last generation of monarch butterflies from this season fly to Mexico to overwinter.   This generation live the longest- approximately eight months.   They will mate early next year and begin the cycle of returning to the states and Canada. 

Monarch tagging is important because the their population is in danger.    Their numbers have dwindled dramatically. They travel up to 2500 miles from all over the United States and Canada to overwinter in trees in Mexico.   Each year, the regal monarchs make the trek to Mexico and each year with the help of private citizens and groups, we tag monarchs to keep track of their numbers. 

FYI- monarch butterflies overwinter in the same trees their ancestors did!

The loss of habitat and milkweed which is essential for them to exist and the use of pesticides have played a major role in their depletion.    In the 90’s, the butterflies used 45 acres of land to overwinter to a low of only 1.66 acres in 2013-14.   

Plans are underway to help raise the numbers of monarchs.    

I’ve been tagging the monarchs bound for Mexico and will continue until the monarchs have finished migrating from this area. 

In time, taggers find out if any of their butterflies have made it to Mexico.   







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