Friends of Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge

Monarch Watch Program

Image courtesy Monarch Joint VentureMonarch Watch involves 7th grade students from several northern NM
middle schools (Memorial and West in Las Vegas, Anton Chico, Cimarron
and Maxwell). Led by Debbie Pike, students tend to monarch butterfly chrysalises and learn skills such as predictive math, language, map/

geography, and science in the 7th grade classroom. They develop a sense of ownership of the chrysalis and become better stewards in their own back
yards and schoolyards. They are encouraged to plant pollinator/nectar native
wildflowers and milkweed to provide habitat for Monarchs and other pollinator species.
      When the butterflies emerge, each student tags individual butterflies for use in studying and monitoring
monarch populations and the fall migration. Tagging helps answer questions about the geographic origins
of monarchs that reach Mexico, the timing and pace of the migration, mortality during migration,and changes 

in geographic distribution.
      After students tag and release the butterfly at their nearby refuges, they can monitor its migration
through Monarch Watch.

Here’s where you come in. The Northern New Mexico Complex of wildlife refuges is working with area
schools and the Friends of Las Vegas NWR on a fund raising program to support the educational effort and
the raising, growing, and release of the butterflies. A Come Fly With Us plan was born. The students tend
to the chrysalises and tag and release the butterflies. Nonstudents can underwrite one or more chrysalises for
$7.00 apiece to ensure every student in the 7th grades can experience this miracle of nature.

Nonstudents can help by purchasing a chrysalis for $7 each. Money goes to buy chrysalises and supplies for the students. Find out more HERE.

For more information, email Debbie Pike or call 505-425-3581. To sign up online,go to the Adoption Page.

For more information about Monarch butterflies and conservation efforts, see the following websites:

Monarch Joint Venture:

Monarch Watch:

(Image courtesy Monarch Joint Venture)

Friends of Las Vegas (New Mexico) National Wildlife Refuge

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