As part of the Oklahoma City Zoo's commitment to conserving monarch butterflies, the Zoo's education team will be hosting monarch butterfly tagging daily from September 24-October 6, from 1-3 p.m., weather permitting at the Zoo's butterfly garden!
There, guests will learn about monarch biology, the importance of tagging, the decrease in monarch populations, what the OKC Zoo is doing to help monarchs, what guests can do to conserve monarchs at home and much more.
Monarch butterfly tagging is a long-term citizen science study run by Monarch Watch, based at the University of Kansas. The tagging program provides vital information about migration patterns and how variables like temperature, weather patterns and habitat conditions affect the migration. OKC Zoo staff have been tagging monarchs each fall for the last 21 years. This year we were thrilled that two of the monarch butterflies tagged here were recovered in Mexico!
The information gathered from tagging is especially critical now that the monarch population has declined by 90 percent. Tagging opportunities are free to Zoo guests with paid admission and exclude Sundays.
Monarch butterflies appear fragile but they are mighty, flying up to 3,000 miles during their fall migration from Canada and the upper Midwest of the United States to overwintering grounds in Mexico each year.
To learn more about monarchs and support conservation efforts, register for the Zoo's second annual Monarch Madness 5K on Saturday, October 6 from 8am until 12noon, then make plans to attend the Monarch Festival. There will be fun butterfly crafts, butterfly garden tours, nature inspired artwork by local artists, storytelling and monarch tagging!
Photo: Jaclyn Herrera