JOPLIN, Mo. – Now is when monarch butterflies are migrating through Missouri to their wintering grounds in central Mexico, which makes it a great time to have a program about them.
People can learn about these beautiful butterflies, the migration they make, and the benefits they provide people through their pollination at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) free virtual program “Monarch Magic.” This online program is from 6-6:30 p.m. on Sept. 9 and is being put on by the staff of MDC’s Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center. This program is best suited for ages 5 and older. People can register for this program at:
The importance of having monarch butterflies around is about much more than seeing pretty butterflies in flower gardens. Studies have shown that the financial benefits provided to U.S. citizens by the pollination activities of butterflies and other insects can be measured in the billions of dollars.
Just as impressive, but much more mysterious, are the annual autumn migrations monarchs make to central Mexico. No monarch makes the trip more than once (the butterflies live about a year). Since none of the monarchs headed for Mexico have ever made the trip before, how do they end up at the same location year after year? MDC Naturalist Jessie Ballard will discuss theories about the annual monarch migration and will also provide tips on plants that will provide good habitat for these colorful butterflies during the time they’re in Missouri.
Though this program is free, registration is required. To participate, use the link above. Registrants must provide an e-mail, so a program link can be sent to them. This program will include a chat-based question-and-answer period where participants can interact with the presenters.
Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual programs. A listing of these programs can be found at mdc.mo.gov/regions.