Maybe your Monarch made it but its tag didn’t …

Many tags fall off Monarch butterflies before they reach their overwintering sites. If the tags aren’t applied correctly, they will fall off before the butterfly reaches its destination.

Tagging a Monarch butterfly for migration studies

Tagging a Monarch butterfly
for migration studies

Monarch Watch butterfly tags

Monarch Watch butterfly tags
For migration research

Migration study tag fell off this Monarch butterfly

Monarch Watch tag
fell off this Monarch butterfly

Although we’re through tagging for the year, please take a minute to bookmark this linked page for next season.

1. If someone uses a finger instead of another object to handle the tag, the oils from the finger could cause the glue to become ineffective.
2. If someone fails to hold the tag firmly onto the wing for a few seconds, the glue won’t go through the scales to hold the tag firmly to the wing itself. It will come off with the scales as the butterfly flies.
3. If the record sheet isn’t filled out and returned to Monarch Watch or whichever research group issued the tags, it doesn’t matter if the tags make it and are recovered. The information isn’t recorded to identify where the butterfly was tagged.

Learn more about tagging by visiting this linked page.

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