I checked the number on our New Zealand Monarch Butterfly Trust's website and found that it had flown in from the next street and had set off 3 days before. It's a great website for tagging and, when you enter the tag number, comes up with a little map to show you where they've flown from.
In North America each autumn more than 250 million Monarchs leave the United States and southern Canada and journey south for up to 2,500 miles to their overwintering roosts in the mountain fir forests of west Mexico City. Their numbers have been declining and scientists are worried.
In NZ we know even less about our Monarchs and their overwintering behaviour. Where do they overwinter? How many sites are there?
Monarch butterflies are known as ‘indicator species’ as they are easy to see and also not afraid of humans. They are considered today’s ‘canaries of the coal mines’. With the information from our tagging programme we will be better prepared to protect Monarchs and measure changes to our environment – not only for Monarch butterflies but what affects other insects too. If insects are affected, our very survival will be affected. This is one way in which citizen scientists (that’s you!) can participate in a real science project.
The aim is to find out about the Monarch’s winter behaviour, so we try and tag the overwintering generation, not those butterflies that emerge through spring and summer.
REF: Monarch Butterfly NZ Trust
See more details HERE....