Monarch tagging — what now?

During the Bee & Butterfly Festival, almost 300 monarch butterflies were tagged through the University of Kansas’ Monarch Watch program.

What happens now?

The butterflies were released into the Kenue Park prairie and are now making their ways south to certain forests in Mexico where monarchs overwinter each year.

In the spring, these monarchs will mate and then start the journey north. Males might not make it back from Mexico, but females will hopefully make it to the southern United States to lay eggs before they die.

Monarch Watch says, “Most of the recovered tagged monarchs within the United States and Canada are found dead by people who know nothing about monarchs or Monarch Watch.” However, the tags have contact information, so these citizens will call or send in the tag numbers they have found.

Monarch Watch then puts together a data sheet of all the tagged monarchs found in Mexico or the United States, and you can search for your tag number at www.monarchwatch.org/tagmig/recoveries.htm.

Let us know if your monarch is found next spring!

(Read about the majestic monarch’s life cycle.)

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