By LINDSAY PERRY
Students in the Envirothon class were gifted with a presentation on monarch butterflies during their class on Sept. 13, 2018.
The presenter, Chris, went through a slideshow about butterflies, monarchs in particular, which told about the life cycle and gave some interesting facts about monarchs.
Chris mentioned that, at the end of class, the students would be able to help tag the butterflies, and then students would have the opportunity to go outside and release them.
Monarchs are tagged in hopes that a greater understanding of their migration pattern can be achieved. The tags were purchased through an organization called “Monarch Watch.”
Due to increased deforestation in Mexico, monarchs have become an endangered species. In hopes of enlarging the monarch population, Monarch Watch has given the initiative of a monetary reward of five dollars for any monarch butterfly found with a tag in Mexico.
Some of the facts that Chris touched on were that monarchs cannot fly under 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and that they can only fly between five and twelve miles per hour. Monarchs only feed on the milkweed plant, which has a glue-like consistency that helps them construct a sturdy chrysalis when they start the metamorphosis process.
After the presentation was over, Chris chose a few students to tag the butterflies and then the whole class went outside to watch them be released. The monarchs took flight and will make their way to Mexico for the winter months, returning in the spring.
Lindsay Perry is a student at Cranberry High School and a member of the school’s journalism/publications group.