Monarch Butterflies have a chance.
(Mirror Dailly, United States) – Recent reports established that there were 16 Monarchs tagged in Geauga County, Mexico in the last winter. During the season of 2015, Geauga Park District tagged a total number of 1,120 Monarchs.
Naturalist Tami Gingrich and his staff members Stacey Rauch and Jen Weitzel, brought a contribution of 871 Monarchs out of the 1,120 total, all from collected eggs.
The other 249 were wild butterflies caught and tagged during the migration with the help of public programs and the park staff. Four of the 16 recovered in Mexico were tagged and released by Chief Naturalist John Kolar, Karie Wheaton and Dan Best at The Great Geauga County Fair.
John was the one that caught two of the four monarch butterflies. Stacey Rauch tagged and released another Monarch in Burton, whereas other two mild Monarchs and other eight were tagged and released by Naturalist Tami Gingrich from Big Creek Park, Swine Creek Reservation, Burton Wetlands Nature Preserve and Frohring Meadows.
The last one was tagged and released from The West Woods by a mysterious tagger. According to Linda Gilbert and Tami Gingrich, Geauga Park District has always recovered a few Monarch butterflies in Mexico through the years, but never as many as this season. Plus, it’s extraordinary that every butterfly had to fly over 1,800 miles to reach its destination.
The population of the Monarch was established to be critically low starting from 1995. According to Chip Taylor from the University of Kansas, nine overwintering Monarch colonies were located on the 26th of February with a total area of 9.9 acres, 2.8 acres more than last winter. Unfortunately, a severe winter storm erased 50 percent of the population on March 8th and 9th in Mexico.
Gilbert and Gingrich mentioned that it is very fortunate that most of the butterflies have already started their journey North to re-colonize the southern U.S. Depending on the future Monarch population in the south, it will be established the recovery degree of the population during the next winter too.
The fourth and final public milkweed giveaway of the Geauga Park District will be on June 19th, at The West Woods Nature Center in Russell and Newbury townships from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The next giveaway is expected to be next year so we hope that the population of the Monarch butterflies will thrive starting from now.