‘Monarch Butterfly Conversation’ Friday

TUPPER LAKE – Dr. Chip Taylor, director of Monarch Watch will present “Monarch Butterfly Conservation: The Challenges Ahead” at 7:30 p.m. Friday in The Wild Center’s Flammer Theater. Taylor is one of the key scientific advisors for the new giant screen adventure “Flight of the Butterflies now showing daily at The Wild Center.

Taylor will cover the dynamics and current conservation issues facing the monarch butterfly and its amazing migration along with steps the international community should take to mitigate the declining monarch population. This past winter, the monarch overwintering population in Mexico was the lowest ever recorded, leading the World Wildlife Fund to declare the monarch migration endangered. Dr. Taylor will discuss the factors that contribute to the decline in the monarch population.

“To lose something like this migration is to diminish all of us,” said Dr. Taylor, University of Kansas professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. “It’s so truly spectacular, one of the awe-inspiring phenomena that nature presents to us. There is no way to describe the sight of 25 million monarchs per acre – or the sensation of standing in a snowstorm of orange as the butterflies cascade off the fir trees.”

The presentation is free and open to the public, however reservations are recommended. To make reservations, visit www.wildcenter.org. This event will also be streamed live online at www.wildcenter.org/live.

On Saturday, at 1 pm in the Flammer Theater, Taylor will do a special introduction of the award-winning film “Flight of the Butterflies.” Following a screening of film, Taylor and Wild Center staff will lead a special outdoor program and demonstration focused on tracking and tagging monarch butterflies.

Taylor will discuss two programs he created, the Monarch Waystation program, and the Bring Back the Monarch campaign. Both programs aim to increase the planting of milkweed and the creation of pollinator-friendly habitat. Learn how to get involved with Monarch Watch’s citizen science programs.

Trained as an insect ecologist, Taylor has published papers on species assemblages, hybridization, reproductive biology, population dynamics and plant demographics and pollination. Starting in 1974, Taylor established research sites and directed students studying Neotropical African honey bees (killer bees) in French Guiana, Venezuela, and Mexico.

In 1992, Taylor founded Monarch Watch, an outreach program focused on education, research and conservation relative to monarch butterflies. Since then, Monarch Watch has enlisted the help of volunteers to tag monarchs during the fall migration. This program has produced many new insights into the dynamics of the monarch migration. In 2005 Monarch Watch created the Monarch Waystation program, in recognition that habitats for monarchs are declining at a rate of 6,000 acres a day in the United States. The goal of this program is to inspire the public, schools and others to create habitats for monarch butterflies and to assist Monarch Watch in educating the public about the decline in resources for monarchs, pollinators and all wildlife that share the same habitats.

ADKAction.org is the sponsor for these events.

The Wild Center is open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

For more information, visit www.wildcenter.org.