Monarch Tagging at the St. Marks Refuge | Citizen Science at Sunrise

Monarch Tagging at the St. Marks Refuge | Citizen Science at Sunrise


[Music]>>Scott Davis: Monarch tagging is a national effort to try to understand a little bit better, where the Monarchs are coming from, and where they’re going. We go out in the morning, before the Monarch butterflies have begun to move, when it’s very cold, and we capture the Monarch butterflies. [Chatter]>>Volunteers: Get it! Get it! Get it!>>Richard RuBino: Good Job!>>Volunteer: Nice! Oh my Gosh!>>Scott Davis: Monarch tagging down at the lighthouse is a joint venture, sort of a partnership between U.S Fish & Wildlife and the Florida Freshwater Fish & Game Commission. We advertise what we’re doing to the public and invite them because honestly, we would not be able to capture as many [butterflies] as we do without citizen scientists coming down here to help us with it.>>Richard RuBino: So what are we doing here this morning?>>Volunteers: Tagging Monarchs.>>Richard RuBino: We’re tagging Monarchs. And the reason is we want to see where these end up. So they try to make it to Mexico, about 150 miles from Mexico City, west of Mexico City. Do they all try to make it to Mexico? No. We have a number that live here along the Gulf Coast, no more than a mile or a mile and a half inland, and spend the winter here. Usually the best time to get involved and to see Monarchs here is about the middle of October That’s when usually the peak period for Monarchs occurs in this particular area. It’s a downslide in terms of numbers from that point on. And, actually this morning, for this time of year, we’re doing fairly well believe it or not [Chatter]>>Scott Davis: We never have an issue having enough people on early mornings to go out and get involved. Learn about the plants, learn about the butterflies, work & network with professionals. It’s a lot of fun, a lot of comradery, and it’s very, very easy to get involved.>>David Cook: Alright, perfect! Hey, this is a Monarch butterfly! And this is a male. We look for the underside of the right-hind wing, which is this, and this kind of mitten-shaped cell And put the sticker there, and synch it down, and then it’s ready to be let go. A lot of times instead of letting it go up in the air, is we’ll put it on somebody’s nose Do we have a nose that would like to volunteer? [Chatter]>>Volunteer: I’ll do it.>>David Cook: Alright! There’s a volunteer nose. [Laughter]>>Volunteer: Okay.>>Volunteer: It’s actually staying for a while!>>David Cook: Now, there’s a downside, if it doesn’t fly away, you’re going to have to walk to Mexico. [Laughter]>>David Cook: There we go! Alright, we’re ready for another one.>>Scott Davis: This project would not be what it is without the support of the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service, without the support of the friends of St. Marks, the St. Marks association. And it would be impossible without volunteers coming out here and helping us to do this work There’s no way that you can grow 40,000 Milkweeds in the course of two years, or go out and tag hundreds of monarchs, and tag them successfully without people coming out and investing time, energy, and emotion to get it done. We need everybody. [Laughter]>>David Cook: There we go! Bye! [Music]>>Scott Davis: If you want to get involved with what we are doing down here with both Milkweeds and Monarchs, you can email us at [email protected] You can call us at (850) 925-6121, or you can look us up on Facebook. Just do a Facebook search: The Monarch Milkweed Initiative at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.

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