Monarch butterflies will be focus of Sept. 14 MDC virtual program

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JOPLIN, Mo. – September is a great month to learn about monarch butterflies in Missouri because this is when these fascinating and beneficial insects are migrating through the Show-Me State on their way to their wintering grounds in central Mexico.

People can learn more about monarch butterflies on Sept. 14 at the free Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) virtual program “Insects: Monarch Magic.” This online program will be from 6-6:30 p.m. and is recommended for all ages. It is being put on by the staff of MDC’s Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center in Joplin. 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). 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.

Program registrants should note that they now have the option to link their children’s accounts to their own, which will streamline the program registration process. Once a group account is set up, parents will be able to register their children for an event without having to log-off or log-in for each person. This allows parents to register an entire family or select family members for an event at the same time.

Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual and in-person programs. A listing of these programs can be found at