Tagging: Extra enhancement to the recoveries page

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  • #14197


    Hi to all taggers (and those other interested parties)

    I have been working on an enhancement suggested at the AGM (thanks Mike Fox). If you go to the recoveries page you will see that the tag numbers are now hyperlinks to the actual reported sighting page, and you will then be able to check out the maps.


    (This may only be visible to those who are registered for tagging – not sure.)

    If you look to the far right of the tagging recoveries page you will see that in some cases the "trees" are prefixed with a # and in other cases a ?.

    # means it is an interesting observation – not just that one of your butterflies was found in the neighbour’s garden. Looking at the map will give you more information.

    ? means that the map is not (yet) correct. The tagging codes are correct for the recovery, but there must have been some sort of hiccup when the butterfly was released, and the right codes for your address have not registered.

    This will take a bit more time to fix – but if it has happened to you, and you haven’t noticed previously, then you now know it’s a problem. This can be caused by a couple of things:

    If you don’t see the full address flash up in blue underneath where you’ve been typing your address, then the system will default to 0 degrees latitude and 0 degrees longitude… just off the Ivory Coast of deepest, darkest Africa.

    If you live at (say) 1 Queen Street, Nelson and you don’t ensure the co-ordinates are for your Queen Street, the address line in blue might be for Queen Street Auckland or somewhere else! So please make sure it’s the right address.

    Also, if you live at Flat 1, 69 Whatever Street, I suggest you just put in 69 Whatever Street. If you live in a rural address, try measuring the kilometres from the start of that road. Multiply by 100 the number of kilometres your property is from the start point of the road. For example, a property 0.9km along on the right side of the road will be number 90. Likewise, 165 is 1.65km along on the left side. Numbers on the right side of the road (from the beginning) are even; those on the left side are odd.

    For instance, I would say that Te Puna Quarry Park’s butterfly garden is 2 kilometres up Te Puna Quarry Road, therefore 200 would be a more accurate indication of the release site.

    There’s another report where it looks like someone released it in Fiji or Samoa or somewhere… not sure what’s happened there, and it will take a bit of time for me to get "into the works" and fix it.

    Keep up the great work!


Viewing 12 replies - 26 through 37 (of 37 total)
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  • #23862


    Wow Darren, those stats are fascinating, you must like numbers?? I’ve not checked the butterflies still around – no swan plants outside so I guess they’re females.
    I notice the odd pair mating still – those hormones are still rising! – but too late here for more babies to survive so my swan plants are all confined. My shade house has double (heavy) plastic on the south wall, so maybe some plants will last over winter.
    Little pegs to hang the wayward chrysalides sounds a good idea – Joan’s idea of putting big ‘pillars under a food cover works well too, great for keeping their travels confined. Cheers, J.



    thanks, no rush. School holidays are over so its back to work on monday. I’ll keep plugging away in my spare time. Calculating the bearing from GPS co-ordinates on a not quite spherical earth is proving to be a challenge. Once I get all the systems and formulas sorted with the 2009 data it will be much easier working through the previous years.



    Thanks Darren.

    I’ll get into the works and fix the latitude/longitudes for those… sometime. I’m not sure when I can get access, so no promises. (It’s been a long time, and I’ve forgotten the procedure so will have to check with the experts.)

    Will let you know when it’s done. Hang in there! And thanks.



    I caught the hoax one. here’s a wee snippet of what I’ve got so far. (If any of these could be “fixed” by finding the missing co-ordinates that would be wonderful and I could add them back in)

    In 2009 MBNZT supporters tagged 5489 Monarch butterflies. 134 or 2.4% were recovered.

    Unfortunately CAE652, CAE655, CAM459, CAH013, CAC778, CAC782, AA272, and BA522 had to be excluded from this analysis, as they had no release co-ordinates recorded. CAA552, CAE717, AA272, CAG291, CAB312, CAA753, CAC364 also had no recovery co-ordinates recorded. CAL379 was excluded as it was apparently found 2 days before it was released. CAN275 was excluded as it was apparently recovered 184 km away on the same day it was released. This speed seems unlikely for an unassisted butterfly.

    It was also decided to exclude CAB289 from this analysis. It was claimed that this butterfly had been found inside an air-conditioned office in the Wellington CBD 17 days after it was released and 418 km away from its release point. A picture of this butterfly had been used for publicity purposes and it was decided that this reported recovery was a prank.

    This left 105 recoveries suitable for analysis. The data was imported into a spreadsheet and time elapsed, distance flown, and speed were calculated. Bearing had to be calculated separately and was only done for butterflies found more than 1km from their release point.



    Darren, the Gisborne to Carterton one I checked out and I’m afraid it was faulty – can’t remember what happened, would have to look at it again. We should flag those so you’re not led astray.

    There’s also the hoax one where some bright spark in NZ Post reported in their office building finding one that was photographed at Te Puna Quarry Park, and had the photo published in the NZ Herald. No doubt the NZ Herald WAS on his desk…

    Great stuff, Darren, fantastic to have you looking at this stuff.



    Wow Darren you’re a STAR!!
    We are so lucky to have you looking at the data.
    Thanks so much;-))))




    76 of the 105 recoveries (72%) were made less than 1km from the point of their release. 36 were female, and 38 male. 2 did not have their gender recorded.

    28 of the 105 recoveries (27%) were found more than 1 km away from their release point, but still within 25km. 15 females flew a total 110km, with an average of 7km. 13 males flew a total of 40km, with an average of 3km.

    There was one long distance flier in this set. A male, CAE747, released 26th March in Gisborne was found 27 days later in Masterton. That is 324 km from his release point and represents an average of 12 km/day on a bearing of 218 or SSW.

    Knocking up a document with some pretty pictures for the website.



    lol, yeah, you got it. Well not all night, but my wife is away this weekend and its fun to stay up late playing with data, reminds me of the old days.



    Hey! That’s interesting – thanks Darren.

    Darren, you’ve been sitting up all night, I can see it in your eyelids. 🙂



    In 2009 of the short and medium distance fliers (<25km) females were recovered an average of 2km from their tagging point while males were recovered an average of 1km from their tagging point.



    Hi Jean

    No major flights so far, they’re pretty much hanging around their neighbourhood.

    Professor Myron Zalucki, who spoke at our conference two years ago, said that males tend to hang around the ‘milkweed patch’ waiting for females to come by, so they can mate. They also chase off other male Monarchs. Whereas females can smell milkweed up to 2km away, and so they keep flying on to the next milkweed patch, where they check out the best plants and lay eggs.

    It would be interesting to know if the ones that wander have been females… so people who have been checking their tagged resident Monarchs from time to time – what percentage are males?

    I had an email from someone in Dunedin a couple of days ago and they told me that Monarchs in their garden were still egglaying! Interesting.

    Your knitted blanket sounds like the right idea. I found some little photograph holders in a $2 shop, that are great. They are little cows which are holding a stick (like a placard) and on the end of the stick is an upturned ‘peg’ for the photograph. But any pupae that have fallen off the plant I glue to something like a toothpick and hang them from those, and they’re very close to the shelf if they should fall.

    Keep up the good work!



    That’s a great recoveries page Jacqui, and interesting to see the butterflies are not going far – no major flights so far? All my releases hang about the garden while marigold and dahlia are in flower, and haven’t found where they go at night or on bad days but I guess not far away if they’re still around.
    I’ve about 12 chrysalides left and 8-10 caterpillars which I plan to bring inside soon as nights get cooler. Final result will be about the same as last year over 4months tho a month later start this year. I think more ‘pillars (8?) didn’t complete their chrysalis this year, and 4 chrysalides died, could have been the odd colder day/night? And 3 or 4 fell and split, will try something softer (a knitted blankie!?) under the plants next season. J:)

Viewing 12 replies - 26 through 37 (of 37 total)

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