With so much food available locally and the milkweed along the route being less frequent, it is a high possibility that Migrating Monarchs may be more Local Los Angeles or Southern California Monarchs. But they would not be the first animal to stop its migration because of the climate. Canadian Geese have been observed to remain year round instead of migrating because of the available resources and the warm weather, and certainly many people feel the same, considering the population of California!
At the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, researchers and citizen scientists tag the Monarchs every Saturday starting in the spring. Their hope is that with the little tags or “trackers” we can get a better idea of the range that Monarchs fly. Do our local Monarchs make that long grueling journey to Canada? To Mexico? Or do they just fly next door to the Exposition Rose Garden and retire there?
In order to “track” or “tag” the Monarchs we would run, leap, walk and sneak up on the unsuspecting butterflies in the gardens. Then with a swish and a flick of the net and a flick of the wrist– and the butterfly would get be securely netted. Once the butterfly was caught we would very gently reach in and lift it out using two fingers placed on either side of its closed wing. This way we could keep the butterfly immobilized then another staff member or student would gently place a small sticker or “tag” on the lower left wing. Then we would write it down.