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Monarch Migration program in Forsyth demonstrates tagging

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A Monarch butterfly on sedum in early fall is more likely having a healthy lunch than anything else. Monarchs head south to a small section of Mexico, not far from Tlaquepaque, Springfield's Sister City.

A Monarch butterfly on sedum in early fall is more likely having a healthy lunch than anything else. Monarchs head south to a small section of Mexico, not far from Tlaquepaque, Springfield’s Sister City.

Monarchs seem to be drawn to host plants with orange blooms, like this milkweed. Most butterflies only lay their eggs on certain host plants.

Monarchs seem to be drawn to host plants with orange blooms, like this milkweed. Most butterflies only lay their eggs on certain host plants.

FORSYTH, Mo. – Members of the Master Gardeners of the Ozarks will present a “Monarch Migration Program” starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, in the demonstration garden behind the Taney County Extension office at 122 Felkins Ave. Forsyth.

Monarch Watch http://www.monarchwatch.org/ is a program that allows participants to tag and release monarch butterflies as part of a nation-wide, citizen-science initiative to track monarch butterflies on their annual migration from the United States and Canada to Mexico.
Presenters at the program in Taney County will discuss the annual migration of the monarch butterfly and ways to assist them as they travel through Missouri. Participating in the tag and release program developed by “Monarch Watch” will be the focus of the program.

“We will demonstrate how to capture, tag, and release monarch butterflies using the tags from Monarch Watch,” said Tim Schnakenberg, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension and coordinator for the local Master Gardeners.
Tagging kits will be available to the first 50 attendees.

“We are inviting science and biology teachers, and other group leaders to participate and take this information back to their classrooms and organizations to further promote the Monarch Migration Program,” said Schnakenberg.

Kits include official Monarch Watch adhesive tags, a data sheet to record when and where tagging took place, a net, and instructions on how to properly catch, tag, and release monarch butterflies without harming or impeding the butterfly’s ability to continue its migration.
This program is free and open to the public as a community service. For more information contact the Taney County University of Missouri Extension center at (417) 546-4431.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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