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    Do the NZ monarch butterflies migrate??

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    That is really interesting Dee… I think the tagging project will be really interesting indeed.



    Hi Dee and all,

    Lovely to hear about your tagging exercise down there in Kakanui.

    The official tagging project is getting closer – we received an $8,000 (yes – eight thousand!) from a donor last week. That’s 40% of the total funding we’re after.

    We are keeping this donation under wraps at present because we want to make the most of a press release – but it should be made public this week. Very exciting.

    We plan to have workshops in towns all around NZ to explain what we’re doing and whwat we hope to accomplish – and then we’ll know more about their overwintering habits in NZ and also whether our other NZ butterflies – about 75 species – are on the decline or not.

    I think we’ll be making a worthwhile contribution to the biodiversity of NZ.





    I use a tiny bit of waterproof paper, put letters or numbers on it in waterproof ink
    and put it on the wing with a tiny dab of waterproof glue
    I put it on the bottom outer lower wing as I have found that is the easiest place to read it when it is either resting or flying
    As I said I have had them coming back after ten weeks with tag still in place so it looks as though it stays in place alright.
    The real exciting test is going to be if any come back next season
    At present a lot of them seem to have decided that they quite like a conifer tree
    and I can see it from the lounge window so wouldnt it be great if they stayed there
    I get up each morning and try to count them from the window
    The neighbours are all great and keep telling me who they have seen
    Someone just said today they had just seen 007 so it must have been a male!!!



    The tagging will be interesting Dee… our Trust hopes to begin doing this next summer. How are you tagging them?



    Down south we have had some supurb sunny calm warm days so thought it was timely to release 44 butterflies.
    Before release I had a talk to them and told them they must winter over in my garden or at least somewhere close and they must come back to me next season.
    I have tagged them so will be really interesting to see if they do come back.
    They are busy feeding on a purple salvia
    and hanging around.
    Had an old girl I had tagged ten weeks ago here yesterday. She was faded tattered and torn but she was busy flat out laying eggs on my swan plants.
    Have got another about 50 to hatch out in the next week or so and then it is going to be very quiet



    Hi Di, my understanding is that they don’t migrate here in NZ – just overwinter in various sites, as you say. I wish they would overwinter in my garden!!!!! I might even build them a big butterfly house with central heating 🙂 🙂


    Marie Smith

    From what I have read, the do accumulate in a few chosen sites around NZ, such as Butterfly Bay at Whangaroa, which is mentioned on this site, but mostly they will “hybernate” (sort of) in dense thickets as close to their place of birth as possible. Here in Birkenhead if we have a nice fine warm day in July, the butterflies turn up in the garden, so I know they are over wintering not far away. Many butterfly enthusiasts who come to my place to buy plants and cozies, report the same thing. I think in places that have very cold winters their migration patterns a more formal. Others will likely contribute more information.

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