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Monarch Butterfly Tagging at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge

Kansas is home to one of the few Monarch Butterfly “Super Stops” at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge near Stafford, KS. This is less than an hour and a half away from Wichita. Mid-to-late September is the perfect time to see Monarchs migrating through our region. If you go on September 16th, there will be a FREE tagging event with the Citizen Science Opportunity group. 

Monarch Butterfly Tagging

What does it mean to Tag a Monarch Butterfly: 

  • Tagging means catching a butterfly and carefully handling it to place a small identification sticker on the wing.
  • Once the sticker is on the butterfly and released, it will continue its route south.
  • Researchers use tagging to follow the migration patterns of the Monarch butterflies to see the path they take and to help track the numbers.
  • I have personally tagged lots of butterflies, and it is relatively easy and very cool. 
  • Hopefully, it will make its full flight to Mexico.
  •  If someone finds a tagged butterfly, they are encouraged to go online to Monarch Watch Tag Recovery and enter the location and any other needed data to see the migration pattern of that specific monarch. 

Join our friends out there to engage in citizen science and get outside to tag Monarch Butterflies and help them know if their numbers are improving this season.

Monarch Butterfly Tagging and Migration: 

  • Monarch Butterly Tagging with USFWS staff and volunteers
  • WHEN/WHERE: September 16, 2023 from 9AM to Noon at the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center near Stafford, KS – 1434 NE 80th Street, Stafford KS 67578
  • COST: FREE! No admission or registration required. Call Quivira’s office at (620) 410-4011 with questions. They will have crafts for children (and adults), refreshments, environmental education with staff, and Monarch Butterfly tagging.

Quivira National Wildlife Refuge is managed by our U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partners, and the Great Plains Nature Center is one of their administrative sites. They play a big part in making the Great Plains Nature Center thrive.

Fun Facts about Monarch Butterflies:

  • The last generation Monarch, born in late summer and early fall, filies up to 3,000 miles from the northeastern US and southern Canada to Mexico.
  • Migrating monarchs travel about 50 miles per day‚ though some have been known to fly as far as 80 miles in a day.
  • Monarchs return to Mexico each year around the first of November, the Day of the Dead, leading local people to believe that they are the spirits of their deceased ancestors come back to visit.
  • They eat off the milkweed plant.
  • Most monarchs live for just 5 weeks, except for the migrating “Methuselah” generation, which lives for 7 or 8 months. 

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