where do nz monarch migrate to

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  • #14191


    Hi everyone i was watching the news i hear about the forest over in mexico.It made me think were did our monarch migrate to.

    thank you Brent and Jennifer

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  • #23801


    Brilliant Darren! Every little bit of publicity will help alert others to look out for tagged Monarchs.

    It's a beautiful photograph.




    Hello Brent and Jennifer

    Welcome to our website.

    There's a lot we don't know about Monarchs in New Zealand. We do know of some of their overwintering sites, for instance in parks in Timaru, Christchurch, Nelson, Hastings, Napier, one or two specific trees in Tauranga and Auckland – and at Butterfly Bay near Kaeo in Northland.

    However, we are trying to find out more by tagging Monarch butterflies each year – if you look under Projects for Tagging you will see a lot more information.

    It is interesting what they have learned about Monarchs in North America. People net or raise in captivity (or semi-captivity) Monarch butterflies and then in the Fall (August-September) they put tags on them. During the northern winter, Mexican peasants search the ground at the Mexican overwintering sites for tags, which they can then sell to interested Americans/Canadians etc who visit the sanctuaries, and the information is processed from there – where the Monarchs originated from etc. That is how they know that one Monarch flew all the way from Canada.

    It's different here. We're trying to find out where they do go in a lot of instances. We know that many people in New Zealand plant swan plants (and other milkweed species) just to attract female Monarch butterflies, which lay their eggs and then… well, you probably know the rest. And we're encouraging more and more people, schools especially, to help us tag.

    The most interesting flight we've noted so far is one from Pukawa Bay, near Turangi, all the way to Whangarei. I think I measured that to be 400 kms (but the information is on the site).

    Hopefully over the next few years we'll get more information and learn a lot more. If you would like to help us tag, we'd love to hear from you. More information on that page I gave you above.



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