John James Audubon State Park's Monarch Migration Mysteries Sept. 12, 19
Imagine going on a trip with no luggage, no food, water, map or compass en route to a place that you've never been.
Now imagine that you'll never live long enough to complete your round trip. Your children and grandchildren will never live long enough to finish your trip, but perhaps your great-grandchildren might live to see your ancestral wintering grounds if they survive all of the life-threatening obstacles along the way.
Now, you're beginning to experience life as a monarch butterfly.
This September you can join John James Audubon State Park staff for four monarch butterfly tagging opportunities. Two programs per day will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12, and Saturday, Sept. 19, from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. You'll learn everything you need to know to identify and catch monarchs.
The group will drive to the Sloughs Wildlife Management Area for the butterfly tagging portion. Since most of the program is outdoors, long pants and closed-toe footwear is encouraged. Be prepared for potentially marshy conditions.
The tags are used to help conduct research on the butterflies. These annual butterfly tagging programs attract families, scout troops and interested community members looking to spend an afternoon away from the hustle and bustle. Tagging events like these help the community connect with nature and broaden the base of understanding surrounding these winged wonders.
During mid-September, monarch butterflies are passing through this area on their journey south in search of warmer weather and more favorable wintering grounds. They'll congregate almost exclusively on 12 mountain peaks located just west of Mexico City, Mexico. There, nearly all of the living North American monarch butterflies come together for a breathtaking spectacle as the Mexican trees and shrubs literally drip with these colorful creatures.
Although monarchs migrate every year, there is much we still don’t know about these magnificent insects. Monarch Watch, an educational outreach organization, developed the tagging stickers to track the monarchs’ journey progression and to answer some of the mysteries surrounding these unique butterflies. The sticker tags, placed on a monarch’s hindwing, each have a unique identification number, a reporting e-mail address and phone number so that tagged butterflies can be reported as recovered.
For more information, contact Julie McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 270-826-2247. For more information about the park, visit parks.ky.gov/findparks/recparks/au/