Track Monarch Butterflies As They Migrate

Curious Public Helps Researchers Study Patterns

Volunteers tagged five monarch butterflies at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage to help track their journey as they migrate for the fall.

Sunnylands Center and Gardens

Aside from the high-profile conferences that still happen at the West Coast Camp David, known as Sunnylands, a remarkable project took wing late summer -- one that will span many months.

"(Aug. 31) was the first day of Sunnyland’s Center & Gardens participation in the Southwest Monarch Program," said Michaeleen Gallagher, the director of education and environmental programs for Sunnylands Center and Gardens in Rancho Mirage.

Researchers launched The Monarch Program in 1990 as a way to nurture a growing public interest in monarch butterflies.

At their headquarters, based in Encinitas, outside of San Diego, researchers study the behavior of the butterfly, cultivate plants in their greenhouse and offer classroom field trips to learn more about the elegant Danaus plexippus.

The creature's migration patterns are one facet of their research, and now more members of the public volunteer to tag monarchs to track their on their journey.

On the first day of the project at Sunnylands, Gallagher, environmental coordinator Kelly Reynolds and two education assistants, Danielle Sombati and Kacey Donner, netted, tagged and recorded information on five monarch butterflies found in the gardens.

The personal tagging allows Gallagher and her team the chance to track where their butterflies scatter off to.

"If these butterflies are found at other locations, we will be notified by SWMP and that information will contribute to current data," Gallagher said. "This program tracks monarchs in the southwest United States, an area that currently has very little data on migration patterns. Butterflies tagged at Sunnylands will hopefully turn up at other sites and be reported."

"Tagging parties" will be held throughout the late summer and early fall in Southern California.

For more information on The Monarch Program, click here.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Desert Guide
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Expansion on the Horizon as SilverRock Resort Marks 10th Anniversary

As SilverRock Resort marks its 10th anniversary, there is great anticipation on what the next 10 years will bring.

Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival Brings Vintage Movies to Camelot Theatre Screens

When Alan Rode took over the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in 2008, he made sure it remained true to has remained true to its namesake by paying tribute to black and white vintage films.

A Day at the Beach

Here are a few easy swing thoughts from David Woods, PGA Director of Golf at The Vintage Club in Indian Wells, when playing out of a greenside bunker.

Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center Earns Docomomo Award

The Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion has been recognized by Docomomo US’ 2015 Modern in America Awards with a Design Award of Excellence.

LeAnn Rimes, Natalie La Rose Entertain Packed White Party Palm Springs T-Dance

LeAnn Rimes, Natalie La Rose, and Glee star Alex Newell closed out a windy and wild weekend of the 26th annual White Party Palm Springs, considered to be the largest gay men's party in the world.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

Palm Springs Life's Women in Business

Palm Springs Life's Women in Business

Winner profiles will be highlighted in a special section in Palm Springs Life’s May 2014 issue. Nominate Your Top Women in Business!
Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Enter your “Cutest Pet” photo in the Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest. Online users will be able to like the Cutest Pet photos from six (6) categories.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Edit ModuleShow Tags