In the next few months, someone in Mexico may notice a monarch butterfly with a small sticker on its wing, with a number that identifies the insect’s birthplace as Gayton Elementary School in Henrico County, Va.
Some fourth and fifth graders at the school gathered to say goodbye to the endangered orange beauties as the insects start their arduous journey, traveling as much as 25 miles a day to reach Mexico ahead of any possible frost. The stickers enable the students to help provide the data necessary to save and regenerate the pollinators.
The project was kicked off through a grant from the Henrico Education Foundation.
The monarch tags were provided by Monarch Watch, a nonprofit that advocates for the insects. Each fall, the group distributes more than a quarter of a million coded stickers that enable interested people to tag and record butterflies and help provide data about them by logging the information online. Find out more at https://monarchwatch.org/tagging/.