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MONARCH Mania

Monarch Mania, Sept. 15, 2012 8:30 aM - 11:30 AM, at the Quivira Refuge Visitors Center. Pre-Registration call 620-486-2393

Quivira National Wildlife Refuge provides a 22,000-acre way station for migrating Monarch butterflies that funnel through Kansas on their incredible journey south to over-wintering grounds in Central Mexico. Each September, the Friends of Quivira provide an opportunity for participants to capture and tag Monarch butterflies as part of the Monarch Watch tagging program.

To increase the chance of tagging success, butterfly capture and tagging will take place from 8 to 10 a.m. As participants arrive they will go out with a tagging leader.
At 10 a.m., Mark Neubrand, Salina, will give a kid-friendly presentation on butterfly photography. Mark has been photographing and drawing attention to Kansas butterflies through his printing business. He and his wife have certified their backyard as wildlife friendly and they raise black swallowtail butterflies. Following the presentation, children can make a butterfly and/or caterpillar craft. Information on attracting butterflies will also be available. The event will end with a door prize drawing.

HABITAT Preservation

To find out how you can help maintain the wild Monarch butterfly population, visit the Monarch Watch website: www.monarchwatch.org

The Monarchs don't always cooperate, sometimes flying right over the Refuge if the winds are right, or arriving early or late. 2007 was a record year however. Participants tagged nearly 400 butterflies in under an hour. Over the past several years, three butterflies have been recovered from the roosting sites in Central Mexico, after having flown over 1,200 miles from the Refuge. Information gathered from returned butterflies helps entomologists (scientists who study insects) to learn more about the butterfly's migration. In an effort to help conserve Monarch butterflies, which are facing pressures from loss of habitat and pesticides, the Refuge has been planting milkweed seed - the caterpillars' food source - near the Visitors Center and mowing around stands of milkweed.