We are now into the second week of August and the days are shortening noticeably. It’s nearing the time when Monarch butterflies will begin their fall migration to Mexico for the winter. The Saint John Naturalists’ Club will begin tagging migrating Monarch butterflies at Point Lepreau in another week, starting on Wednesday, August 15th if the weather is fine. We won’t be tagging on days that are foggy, rainy or exceptionally cool as the butterflies won’t be on the move in those conditions.

 

Monarchs begin migrating south toward Mexico by mid-August at our latitude and Point Lepreau has become recognized as a major location where the butterflies are concentrated by geography. Once at the tip of the Point they find a multitude of blooming plants on which to feed and fuel up before continuing on their way. As a result we will be basing our tagging effort at the Point Lepreau Bird Observatory and will try to have people there tagging during most fine afternoons from August 15th until well into September.

 

If you are interested in learning about Monarchs and volunteering to help with tagging efforts you would be most welcome to join us as often as your schedule will allow. The only requirement is that you have security clearance from NB Power security officials to pass through the high security area near the nuclear reactor at the base of the Point. The only access road takes you through that perimeter. Many naturalists around the province have that clearance which involves having a criminal record check done and some additional paperwork. Once you have been granted clearance you can visit after making advance arrangements at least 48 hours ahead.

 

If you are interested but don’t have security clearance I could help you with that. Please send an email to me directly and I can explain the procedure. It can be completed in a couple of weeks at the most.

 

We want to assemble a list of the names of interested security-approved volunteers so we can make arrangements with security for you to visit this summer/fall.

Please email me at <jgw@nbnet.nb.ca> to get your name on the list.

 

Jim Wilson

Saint John Naturalists’ Club

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