Another Special Post - Another Tag Recovered!!

Well if one wasn't amazing enough, how about two?  I was searching through more photos of Monarch butterfly tags that Brenda Dziedzic had posted to her Facebook page (Brenda's Butterfly Habitat) and I found another one of our tags from Rosetta.  This one was UBA 842.  The Monarch was tagged on September 9th, 2015, it was a male and it's overall condition was rated '3' (good).  At that time Terry had not received his measuring equipment so no weight or wing size was noted.  The tag was recovered in Mexico on February 23, 2016 by Adelina Fajardo at Cerro Pelon near the town of Macheros.  We thank Brenda, Carol Pasternak, and the other ladies for their efforts in retrieving these and all the other tags and of course, we thank the people of Mexico who work so hard to find the tags on the forest floor.  At present we still don't fully understand why the tags are being sold-off.  Once Brenda and Carol arrive back from Mexico we will see what they can tell us.

Walter

Special Post - Tag Recovered!

One of our 'tagged' Monarch butterflies has been found in Mexico!!!

An extremely excited Terry informed many of us via email late Sunday night that he had noticed one of his butterfly tags in an online photo.  The Monarch butterfly tag was in a photo that Carol Pasternak (The Monarch Butterfly Crusader) had posted to her Facebook page earlier in the day.  Carol, along with Brenda Dziedzic (Brenda's Butterfly Habitat) and several of their butterfly-loving friends are currently in Mexico up in the mountain region (Cerro Pelon) where the Monarchs spend their winters.  The area is officially designated as The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve.  Local workers in the Reserve comb the forest floor through thousands and thousands of dead Monarchs in search of ones that have identification tags attached to them.  In turn the workers are paid money for recovered tags that they report.  Apparently, and we're not sure why just yet but tourists there buy the butterfly tags off of their tour guides - hopefully we'll get some sort of clarification on just what the heck this is all about soon!  Anyway, the tag that Terry noticed in the photo was one of his that he had purchased online, it was UBA 905, a tag that Betty (Terry's helper) had applied to a Monarch butterfly back in the fall at Rosetta.  Terry searched through his tagging records and found the following information:  the butterfly was tagged on September 18, 2015, it was a female, it weighed .57g, it's wing measurement was 60mm, and it's overall condition was rated 4 (5 being pristine), the day was sunny with a temperature of 27 degrees Celcius!  Great stuff!

Here is a slightly edited version of the photo containing the tags...

(click photo to enlarge)

Here is a map showing a 'direct-line' path from Rosetta to the wintering grounds in Mexico...

(click photo to enlarge)

The direct-line distance from Rosetta down to the wintering grounds is slightly more than 3300 kms!  We know butterflies get blown around a lot in the wind and also veer off-course for other reasons so it's extremely likely that this lady travelled much much further on her journey south.  It's just amazing how they can do it!

I'll post further details as I get them.

Congratulations to Terry and to Betty for a job well done!  How exciting!

Walter