Autumn brings streams of monarch butterflies migrating southward through western Missouri. As they mingle with local butterflies, it gives people a fine time to see the orange and black monarchs as they touch down on flowers or warm up on stone. The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Burr Oak Woods Nature Center will host a free online virtual program about monarchs from 1 to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 2.
This program will also teach participants how to utilize citizen science to help track the monarch population’s fall migration to wintering grounds in the mountain pine forests of Mexico. Participants will learn how to catch and carefully handle monarchs, how to apply small paper tags to the wings, and how to enter tag numbers in a data base. People finding a monarch with a tag can report it to the online data base. The information gathered helps scientists track monarch movements and population trends.
A loss of habitat in North America and in Mexico has dwindled monarch populations. People can help them with small landscape plantings of native plants, such as purple coneflowers or native asters where the adults gather nectar, or milkweed where the larvae feed and grow.
Registration is required for this program. To register, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZBe.
To learn more about monarchs in Missouri, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZBn.