Monarch Watch Tagging
The Monarch Butterfly
The Monarch Butterfly is considered one of America’s icons when it comes to the insect world. This insect is so popular that if you were to ask anyone to name an insect the number one answer would be Monarch. Monarchs are a migratory species that can travel 1,200 to 3,000 miles between Central America and North America. It also goes through a phenomenon called metamorphosis. This metamorphosis is a lifecycle from egg, larva, chrysillis, and adult that can take over a month.
Due to the loss of habitat and climate change this species is now at risk of extinction. Back in July of 2022, the International Union for Conservation & Nature (IUCN) moved Monarchs from threatened to an endangered status. Even though this change has been made it does not guarantee protection here in the United States. To protect the species it must be put on the endangered species list to be protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working hard to get them on the list.
Our Conservation Efforts
Monarch Watch Tagging Program
To help determine yearly population numbers and migratory paths, Boone County Conservation is participating in the Monarch Watch Program. This program is a large-scale community science project and has millions of volunteers across the country that assist every year. This activity takes place in late summer into early fall when Monarchs are heading back down south. Volunteers will tag, record, and release each butterfly that happens to get captured by their nets. The data will then be turned into Monarch Watch and results will be posted the following spring.
We as a County Conservation Board work to improve and enhance our wildlife areas to sustain a healthy population. Our greatest push relies on the community to assist in the field, at public events, and to volunteer.
Fall of 2022, Boone County Conservation hosted an event called Monarch Spectacular. It took place at Don Williams Recreational Area (Ogden, IA) and Swede Point Park (Madrid, IA). It was the first ever Monarch Tagging event for the Boone County Conservation. We hope in 2023 you will join us for the next Monarch Spectacular.
If you want to volunteer in Monarch Tagging next year contact our Naturalist