Non Migratory Tagging Program

Anne Kilmer viceroy at
Thu Mar 28 20:11:59 EST 2002

Kathy Reinertsen wrote:

> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Subject:
> Non Migratory Tagging Program
> From:
> Kathy Reinertsen <bfly4u at>
> Date:
> Wed, 27 Mar 2002 20:59:50 -0600
> To:
> leps-l at
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Subject:
> Non Migratory Tagging Program
> From:
> Kathy Reinertsen <bfly4u at>
> Date:
> Wed, 27 Mar 2002 20:50:29 -0600
> To:
> Leps-1 at
> The IBBA will start Phase II on April 8, 2002. A pilot tagging program
> sponsored and designed independently without outside funding by the
> IBBA.  The program is designed as a voluntary pilot program and will be
> open to all butterfly breeders.  We will collect credible, raw, basic
> data, but will not analyze it.
> Ed and Kathy Reinertsen will be the coordinators of this program, under
> the direction of the IBBA Board of Directors, and will publish reported
> data as it is received at  Data collected
> from the recorded tags will aid scientist and researchers by identifying
> captive bred Monarchs, monitor the movement, and longevity of the
> captive bred Monarchs during non migratory months.  The IBBA's program
> is in partnership with the scientific community and the USDA.
> Why is the IBBA doing this?  Researchers have voiced concerns that
> release of captive bred Monarchs could interfere with the counts of
> naturally occurring butterflies in population dynamics studies.
> Researchers are also interested in studies of non migratory populations
> This program will help provide data on the dispersion of captive bred
> Monarchs.
> The IBBA feels that it is important to cooperate and participate as
> partners with the research community and the USDA.
> In order for the program to produce valid and useful information, it is
> important that a large number of breeders participate.  Whether you are
> a member of the IBBA, an independent commercial breeder, or a hobbyist,
> we are encouraging you to participate in order to provide a large enough
> sampling to have relevancy.
> The New IBBA round tag will have the same size, (9 mm or .350")
> lamination, face stock, adhesive, and tooling as the latest Monarch
> Watch tag.  Changes in the IBBA tag are: Single sequentially numbered
> labels with a six digit tracking number.  Yellow with black
> lettering that will read:
>       IBBA
>    Please call
> 1-866-202-9844
>     A000001
> We made the decision to use a toll free phone number to have the best
> recovery sampling for valid results.  Yellow tags were
> chosen to distinguish from the other tagging programs that are tagging
> wild Monarchs.   The IBBA does not want to interfere with the counts of
> the wild butterflies in population dynamics studies.  The new tag will
> make it easy to provide data on the movements of captive bred Monarchs
> and aid in studies of non migratory Monarchs.
> You would place the IBBA tag in the same manner as other tags, over the
> discal cell on the underside on the hind wing.  This method is less
> harmful to the butterfly and the rate of tag recovery is higher than for
> Monarchs tagged on the wing margins.
> The tags will be made available at a cost of $5.00 per 100 tags.  Kathy
> and I as coordinators of this program are doing this without payment and
> have no financial interest in the release industry.  We will not be
> raising butterflies this season so as not to jeopardize the credibility
> of the data collected.
> To order your tags, we would encourage you to plan ahead and send your
> check made payable to the IBBA with your request to:
> The IBBA c/o Kathy Reinertsen
> 1617 Wisteria Way
> Richardson, Texas  75080
> This will help keep the cost down.  We will batch checks and send them
> to the IBBA treasurer after making copies.
> With your order Kathy and I will assign you a four digit identification
> number to address the confidentiality / privacy issues and send it to
> you with your tags, data sheets, and instructions.
> Please complete the data sheets as soon as possible and fax them to
> 972-680-0023 so that we will have the history of the reported Monarch.
> This program is about collecting credible data.  There are many
> researchers that will use this raw basic data if they know that it is
> credible.  The last thing we want is to have the tagging program shot
> down on the basis of lack of documentation.
> The total number of Monarchs that any and all breeders sell and the
> amount of tags purchased by the IBBA will be considered a question that
> will not be answered.
> The only information posted on the IBBA web site would be reported
> Monarchs.  This can be done without jeopardizing the credibility of the
> data collected.  We will ask for the reported butterfly to be sent if
> possible to Kathy and I for only one reason, that is to mount the
> Monarch and present the butterfly as rewards for outstanding
> achievements with this tagging program.  Because this is a non migratory
> tagging program, payment will not be made for recovered Monarchs for
> obvious reasons.
> A lot of people have unselfishly worked very hard to put all of this
> together and it has the potential to generate a great deal of basic data
> for the scientific community to analyze.  The IBBA Board of Directors is
> excited about this program and realizes that this will be a new frontier
> for the IBBA.  Many questions remain unanswered about Monarch
> populations.  We need data to answer these questions and we need your
> help!  Only through your participation will we be able to obtain
> sufficient reports and observations to answer these questions.
> Thank You,
> Ed Reinertsen
> IBBA Tagging Program Coordinator

This sounds wonderful to me, and I'm sure you'll extend it to 
identifying other species of butterfly such as Painted Ladies ... If the 
data is well organized and well presented, I would think it would be 
welcomed by scientists.
School children could certainly make use of the data.

I'm also excited by the breeders who are rearing and releasing rare 
butterflies in suitable habitat, always with the blessing of government 
and science. Seems to me that wealthy butterfly gardeners might be 
persuaded to pay to have their neighborhoods redesigned to accommodate 
rare bugs.
Imagine, for instance, that Rosie O'Donnell's place in Miami Beach 
happened to be well-placed to provide habitat for the Miami Blue 
Butterfly, and that she was willing to kick in a couple million to have 
that butterfly in her garden. Well, you'd need to educate the neighbors, 
stick a bunch of cute little signs around, distribute the host plants 
among the neighbors, and set up a similar habitat across the tracks with 
matching funds, since this butterfly is equally happy in the cultured 
jungle of the beachfront, and the hardscrabble sand-and-weedlot of the poor.

To harbor an Atala butterfly, for instance, you need $500 up front (the 
host plant is expensive), or a lot of time and some seeds. So why not 
spend a little money to make a splash with a rare butterfly, as long as 
you plant and educate the neighborhood.
In other words, what's wrong with doing it for money? ;-)
I love to see the breeders working on restoring habitat, creating 
butterfly gardens and butterfly neighborhoods, educating people and 
making life better for the bugs. This is admirable, and it's fun to be a 
part of it.
It's also great to see the scientists helping to design and create 
restoration programs, using these enthusiastic and knowledgeable 
workers. And after all, why shouldn't we all work together in harmony?
Anne Kilmer
Butterfly Coalition


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