WINNIPEG — Children were aflutter at Assiniboine Park Zoo on Wednesday at the sight of dozens of monarch butterflies spreading their wings to head south.
The Shirley Richardson Butterfly Garden was the setting for hundreds of school-aged children who helped the zoo in their fifth annual tag and release program.
In partnering with Monarch Watch and the Monarch Teachers Network, each butterfly was given a unique identifier in the form of a little white dot on its wing. The tracker includes a website address and tag number, where hawk-eyed watchers — or those with a telephoto camera lens — can use to report a sighting.
The tracking will allow the butterflies to be monitored as they fly south to Mexico for winter migration.
The butterfly garden is open seasonally from late spring to early fall inside the zoo. The exhibit is stocked each spring with native butterfly species including monarchs and painted ladies.