Monarch Tagging Time

Where did the summer go? Suddenly it’s August and time to consider doing some citizen science and tag migrating Monarchs. Monarchwatch.org (a University of Kansas outreach program) is the sponsoring organization. Check out their website for full details, but briefly – you order the kit containing labels and instructions on the tagging procedure. You tag the Monarchs and enter your tagging data on a spreadsheet that you send back to them. They produce a listing of tagged monarch butterflies recovered on their southward migration and overwintering sites. You can check that list to see if any of your tagged butterflies have been sighted/found. Costs are $15 for 25 tags, $20 for 50 tags or $30 for 100. The tags are good for this season only. Last year I had 50 tags and got them all used in an afternoon in an alfalfa patch after we recruited the nieces to round up the monarchs. It’s a great participation project to educate budding naturalists. Migration peaks vary from year to year but in recent years south central Nebraska’s peak has been early-mid September.

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