International, United States
Target or Affiliated Species or Habitat
The purpose of the Monarch Watch tagging program “is to associate the location of capture with the point of recovery for each butterfly. The data from these recaptures are used to determine the pathways taken by migrating monarchs, the influence of weather on the migration, the survival rate of the monarchs, etc.” (Monarch Watch 2016). Interested volunteers can order tags from Monarch Watch, tag monarchs and return the data to Monarch Watch in order to participate in tracking the eastern monarch migration. Monarch tags that are recovered are posted online for viewing. Monarch Watch analyzes recovery data to better understand how monarchs navigate and orient themselves during migration.
“Because monarchs have a certain ‘charisma’ and a fascinating biology and because it is fun to have an excuse to collect butterflies, this project is also a good way to introduce students to science and have them contribute to a scientific study. Through participation in this project [we] also hope to further interest in the conservation of habitats critical to the survival of the monarch butterfly and its magnificent migrations” (Monarch Watch 2016).