Local biologist studies migration of Monarch butterflies

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 10:20 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KELLEYS ISLAND, Ohio (WTVG) - A local biologist who works for Kelleys Island’s local schools and field station has been studying the migration pattern of monarch butterflies.

When Monarchs make their journey south from Canada to Mexico this fall, they make one important stop on the island.

Since 2012 biologist Jackie Taylor has been tagging Monarch Butterflies each fall as they migrate to Mexico.

“Those animals are four generations removed from the animal that flew down to Mexico. Which are the ones we tagged,” Taylor said.

Taylor says the stop the butterflies make in the fall to the island habitat is vital for their circle of life to continue.

“First hurdle that the monarch butterflies face is crossing the great lakes, and without these islands, I like to use them as little steppingstones for migratory animals for crossing Lake Erie, to stop and use as habitat,” Taylor said.

Once they make it across the lake, Taylor said they still need to eat, your local backyard could be a pit stop for them to refuel in the fall.

“Late blooming flowers are very important, also keeping an eye out to see if you see a tagged monarch, in maybe one of your pollinator habitats,” Taylor said.

A very common plant found in our area is milkweed, the host plant for the caterpillar of the monarch butterfly.

“Anybody can have this plant, it’s really simple to go, and you just want to make sure you have to correct species of milkweed for your area,” Taylor said.

According to Taylor these habitats not only help the monarch to survive but also all other pollinators.

“Flies, bees, wasps, hummingbirds, many, many other animals,” Taylor said.

All part of the circle of life on Kelleys Island.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.