Annual Monarch Tagging


It’s been a few years since Ranger Jamie Cameron has participated in the annual monarch butterfly tagging program, but predictions of an increased fall migration of these iconic insects in 2018 had him put in for a tagging kit in the hope of contributing to the ongoing effort to understand their populations and movements.

For the last few years the park has partnered with Monarch Watch and the North Carolina Wildlife Federation to improve habitat for migrating monarchs. Pollinator gardens filled with native flowers and beds of common and swamp milkweed have been planted at locations throughout the park to attract and aid monarchs through their unique life-cycle.

The predictions came true and the rangers at Lake James tagged 16 monarchs during the months of September, October and November as they winged their way to their overwintering range in northern Mexico. Perhaps during the winter researchers will find one of the butterflies tagged at Lake James and another piece of the monarch mystery will fall into place.

For more information about monarchs, monarch tagging and conservation visit