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Monarch Tagging

The last generation of monarchs born in our area will migrate over 2,000 miles to their wintering grounds in Mexico. While we now understand monarch migration better than ever before, there are still numerous questions that remain to be answered:

  • How do monarchs move across the continent (do they move in specific directions or take specific pathways)?
  • How is migration influenced by weather?
  • Are there differences in the migration year to year?

By tagging the migrating generation of monarchs, WVWA can contribute to helping answer these questions as well as to better understand how monarchs are using our watershed/properties.

The tags are 9mm round all-weather polypropylene with an adhesive back. Each tag contains a unique 6-digit code (3 letters + 3 numbers) that will be recorded on a datasheet along with specific information about each butterfly. The tags are placed in a specific place on the butterfly’s wing, and do not impede the flight of the butterfly in any way.

These tags may be “recovered” anywhere along the monarch’s migration route. For example, another tagger in a state south of us, might re-capture our tagged monarch. This would give us information on the specific route that monarchs from our areas take during migration. The tags might also be recovered on the wintering grounds in Mexico.


You can support WVWA's butterfly conservation efforts by Adopting-A-Monarch. For a contribution of $25.00, you will receive a certificate with the tagging details of your adopted monarch. If that monarch is ever recovered, you will be notified with information about its journey and recovery.  Adopt a monarch in your name, or in honor of your friend or family member.  All proceeds will support our monarch monitoring and butterfly conservation within the Wissahickon Valley Watershed.