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Butterflies, bees and botany

Linsey Lucas has been raising and breeding butterflies since she was 9 years old. Recently, she began using information and resources from www.mon archwatch.com to tag the butterflies and record data on their migration patterns.

Last Thursday afternoon, the Lucas residence on 14th Street in Glencoe was home to a miniature butterfly sanctuary as crowds of monarchs gathered to eat after the morning rains.
Linsey Lucas, 34, has been breeding and raising monarchs since she was 9 years old, and in recent years, she started “tagging” them to track their migration patterns.
Using information and resources from www.monarchwatch.com, Lucas orders tagging kits complete with a pre-migration newsletter, data sheets, instructions and multiple tags that look like small circular stickers.
Lucas said the tags are numbered for each fall and spring tagging season. The tags are placed on the underside of each hind wing of a monarch and after the tag number is recorded, the butterfly is released.
The tags record data about the migration patterns of the monarchs, and help answer questions like, “How do monarchs move across the continent? Do they move in specific directions or take certain pathways?”
Lucas said the tags also help record data about the influence of weather on migration and the survival rate of the monarchs.
“Last year, one of our monarchs was found in Mexico! I know I am way too excited about that, but it’s really cool,” Lucas said.

For more, see the Sept. 10 print edition of The McLeod County Chronicle.