Millions upon millions of monarch butterflies migrate from Maine to their ancestral home in Michoacán, Mexico every year but, alarmingly, last year only 60 million were counted; the lowest number ever recorded. In prime years, they number over 450 million. Where have all the monarchs gone? Bonnie Chase and Bill Calvert, naturalists and monarch butterfly researchers, will present a slide show and tell the tale of the most amazing insect migration on earth at Southwest Harbor Public Library, Tuesday, August 26, 5:30pm. Their talk will also include ways one can help ensure the survival of these beautiful butterflies in a perilous time for the species.
Ms. Chase holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science and Education. She worked for the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary for 21 years where she was Executive Director, Education Director, and Senior Naturalist. She has studied extensively the habits of monarch butterflies in the Amazon rain forest and Mexico. She was also the recipient of the prestigious Abernathy Hull Award for the Outstanding Environmental Educator in the United States.
Mr. Calvert holds a degree in philosophy from the University of Texas. After graduating from college he took up the study of butterflies. His dissertation project focused on butterfly feet. He has collaborated on over thirty scientific papers on the monarch. He has also lead eco-cultural tours to the monarch over-wintering areas in Mexico. He has traveled extensively and with Ms. Chase they have expanded the natural history trips to include Central and South America. Several years ago Mr. Calvert was featured on NOVA: Tracking the Monarch Migration.
As in past years, anyone interested in following the life stages of the of monarch, the Library will again foster monarch caterpillars and tag and release the adult monarchs as a part of the Monarch Watch program with assistance from Charlotte Rhoades Butterfly Garden volunteers. Monarch Watch is a nonprofit education, conservation, and research program based at the University of Kansas that focuses on the monarch butterfly, its habitat, and its spectacular fall migration.
This free program will be held in the Holmes Room at the Library. For more information, call the Library at 244-7065.