TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Topeka Zoo is teaming up with the Kansas Museum of History to help monarch butterflies. Experts believe that the population of the popular butterfly has dropped by 90 percent in recent years.
Topeka Zoo Director of Education and Conservation Dennis Dinwiddie said the monarch butterflies are getting ready to pass over Topeka as they migrate south for the winter.
“All those monarchs between the Appalachian mountain range and the Rocky Mountain range go down to the same Valley in Mexico each year to spend the winter time there,” Dinwiddie said.
The zoo is hosting five Monarch Tagging and Migration Classes at the Kansas Museum of History. Dinwiddie said they will provide butterfly nets. People will catch the butterflies and zoo leaders will teach them how to tag them.
“The hope is that as it continues to migrate south that this same butterfly will be captured again,” Dinwiddie said.
A sticker placed on the butterflies wing will let other scientists know where the butterfly has been. This will hopefully show scientists how the butterflies migrate and what habitats they need to protect.
The first monarch tagging event is Saturday. Pre-registration is required for everyone attending these events. The events will be entirely outdoors. Closed-toed shoes and long pants are recommended.