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Norfolk Virginia Zoo puts stickers on butterflies to learn about travel patterns

The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk is embarking on a remarkable project that involves adorning eastern monarch butterflies with stickers to unveil new insights into these majestic creatures.

Eastern monarch butterflies undertake an extraordinary journey, traveling vast distances from the United States and Canada all the way to Mexico each fall, where they spend the winter months. To gain a deeper understanding of the intricacies of this remarkable migration, research teams have initiated a tagging program.

By tagging eastern monarchs as they embark on their annual migration down the East Coast, scientists aim to uncover vital information about the timing, pace, origins, and success rate of monarch butterfly migrations. This endeavor sheds light on the mysteries surrounding the epic journey undertaken by these delicate insects.

The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk proudly participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ “Saving Animals From Extinction” monarch program, also known as SAFE. As part of this program, the zoo’s involvement in monarch butterfly tagging is more than just a scientific venture—it’s a crucial contribution to the preservation and protection of this iconic species.

Through this initiative, the Virginia Zoo and its collaborators are enhancing our knowledge of monarch butterflies, their migration patterns, and their conservation needs. By adorning these majestic creatures with tiny stickers, researchers are helping unlock the secrets of one of the natural world’s most remarkable journeys, shedding light on the awe-inspiring phenomenon of monarch butterfly migration.

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