The Monarchs Are Coming!

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TOPEKA, Kan. – Just days before a large migration of monarch butterflies lands in Northeast Kansas, you can learn about the phenomenon at your Topeka Zoo. The zoo’s Conservation Lecture Series for September will welcome Dr. Orley “Chip” Taylor, a Professor of Ecology and Biology at Kansas University, and the Director of Monarch Watch.

Monarch Watch is the cooperative network of students, teachers, volunteers and researchers dedicated to the study of the Monarch butterfly, the monitoring of the twice a year monarch migration across the North American continent, and the preservation of habitats vital to the health of the monarch population throughout the migration route.

Each fall, hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies migrate from the United States and Canada to mountains in central Mexico, where they wait out the winter until conditions are favorable for a return migration back to the U.S.

The pattern of the monarch migration is predictable, allowing us to forecast the arrival of the migration wave of southerly flying monarchs at each latitude. The migration of millions of monarchs on their southbound journey will reach Northeast Kansas on September 15th.

Dr. Taylor will speak on the international Operation Monarch Watch program from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, September 12th, only days before the main body of the migration arrives in the Topeka area. Admission to the zoo for this presentation is free!

For questions about this event, or the Conservation Series, please call the zoo’s education department at 368-9134.