Missouri Department of Conservation offers free monarch butterfly tagging workshop Sept. 25

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Monarchs are given paper tags. When found and reported, they help scientists track monarch movements and population numbers.

Citizen science program teaches how to help scientists track monarch movements.

People who enjoy butterflies can help scientists track movements and migrations of monarch butterflies. 

The Missouri Department of Conservation will host a Citizen Science workshop on butterflies and tagging monarchs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, at Platte County’s Platte Ridge Park north of Platte City.

“Participants will learn about our local butterflies, their life cycles, their role as pollinators, and monarchs’ unique journey to Mexico in autumn,” said Kathleen Savaiano, MDC conservation educator.

Participants will use butterfly safety nets to capture butterflies they encounter at the park. 

Any monarch butterflies netted will receive small paper tags attached to their wings. 

The tags have identification numbers recorded onsite and put into a national database. If someone finds a butterfly with a tag, they can report it online. This helps scientists track monarch movements and population numbers.

Monarchs are a beloved butterfly commonly seen in western Missouri. 

Large numbers from northern states also migrate through the area in autumn, part of their journey to Mexico for overwintering in a warmer climate. 

However, monarch butterfly numbers nationwide have been in a general decline due to habitat loss. 

People can help by adding native wildflowers and milkweed to garden landscaping.

Participants should dress for the weather. Insect repellent is recommended. Registration is required. 

To register, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZCf.

For more information about monarch butterflies in Missouri, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Z9w.