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MEET FEMALE MONARCH XGM-625 -- Charlie holds what may be the first tagged female monarch for 2017 – August 26, 5:45 PM – Garland Community Garden Garland, Texas

 Late this afternoon Charlie and I went to the Garland Community Garden to pick some okra.  We took a butterfly net with us along with the tag kit and data sheet that just arrived from Monarch Watch – University of Kansas on Thursday, August 24.

Charlie netted and I tagged the first monarch ever that we netted and tagged in the wild.  (Of course someone else in Garland may already be the first one this year to net and tag a monarch but until someone else steps up, I’ll claim that honor in behalf of Loving Garland Green and the Garland Community Garden.)  Last year we participated in the Monarch Watch Org tagging program, but we only tagged 30 monarchs that we had reared from caterpillars.  We did not net or capture Monarchs in the wild.

 

Female Monarch netted at the Garland Community Garden – August 26, 2017.  She was tagged and released in less than five minutes.  Tags do not impair their ability to fly and they remain on the butterfly until their death.  Because of the date, this particular one is likely fourth generation and will not migrate to Mexico.  Her short life will likely end in late September.  However her role is critical, as she will deposit eggs for fifth generation monarchs who will overwinter in Mexico and live 6 to 8 months. They will return to Texas in late March of 2018 to deposit eggs for first generation monarchs of 2018.

 

Information on the Tiny Tag:

TAG@KUEDU - identifies the group issuing the tag as Kansas University

MONARCH WATCH – identifies study group as Monarch Watch

1-888-TAGGING – is the phone number to call if you find a monarch with this tag

XGM 625 is the unique tag code for this particular monarch.  This code is tied to a corresponding data sheet the tagger completes and sends in to Kansas University.  I ordered 50 tags.  The codes for the Monarchs that we tag will have the alpha part as “XGM” and the numeric as 625 through 674

Thus if someone nets this tagged female, they would call 1-888-TAGGING and report where it was netted.   

2017 Monarch Watch Tagging Datasheet

The codes on the tag correlate to data the tagger enters on a datasheet.  For example, for female Monarch XGM625, the researcher/scientist would know that monarch is associated with Elizabeth Berry, the person who ordered the tags.  They would know the monarch was tagged on August 26, 2017; that is female; that it was a Monarch that was netted in the wild and then tagged and released; and finally they would know the location according to Zip code as to where the Monarch was tagged.

 

Monarch Watch Tagging Datasheet with its first entry - August 26, 2017.

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Monarch Netting/Tagging Event
Hosted by Loving Garland Green

Saturday September 2

9AM to 11AM

Garland Community Garden

4022 Naaman School Road
Garland, Texas 75040

Come on down to the garden and watch us net and tag Monarchs.  By next week there should be plenty of them.

We will also have some cardboard monarchs and simulated tags that visitors can practice with.  Those who are experienced at netting butterflies are especially welcome to bring your nets and come on down.  With careful supervision we will let adults who want to try their hand at netting a Monarch to have a go at it.

This is a good opportunity to visit the Garland Community Garden and get your photo taken (free) at the Monarch face board.  It’s a great family event for part of the morning on Labor Day weekend.  Afterward, go to downtown Garland and see our great MarketPlace and meet some of our makers in person.

Netting and tagging Monarchs is done so that scientists can obtain more precise information that can be used to increase the drastically dwindling population of Monarchs.  In February of 2017 the National Wildlife Federation’s Blog reported that New Numbers Show Monarch Butterfly Population Still in Trouble.   Their report stated there was a 27% decrease in the population from 2016, the previous year.  In just the last 20 years the Monarch population has decreased by 90%

Loss of habitat (and in particular the loss of milkweed) is often cited as the main contributing factor to the decline in Monarch population.

Urban dwellers could do much to help save the monarch by simply adding a few native milkweed plants (the only host plant used by Monarchs) to their flowerbeds.  Here in Garland, we make that even easier.  Just call up Mayor Athas and ask for some milkweed seeds.  He has signed the Mayors' Monarch Pledge.

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Join Monarch Maniacs in Garland Texas and Bring Back Monarchs!

Participants will receive:
 - One seed packet of Green Milkweed (contains 10 seeds);
 - One 22-by-16 inch Monarch Maniacs yard sign (double-sided with stake); and
 - One information card with tips and tricks on how to plant your milkweed.

These items will be available for pickup at City Hall, 200 N. Fifth St. For more information about when to pick up your items, call the Office of the Mayor at 972-205-2400 or email Mayor@GarlandTX.gov

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