Monarch Butterfly Tagging Challenge

Looking for something to do outside with the family this summer?

How would you like to be a citizen scientist and help save Monarch Butterflies?

With all the wonders contained in the natural world, the Monarch Butterfly is the closest thing to a miracle that I can think of. You can see from the numerous blog posts on my website over the past 5 years, this is a long-standing passion of mine and I am proud Council adopted my member motion to sign the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge and later my motion for Richmond Hill to be designated as a Bee City.

Over 4 generations, each year the Monarch Butterfly make a migratory journey from as far away as north central Ontario to a specific region in Central Mexico, but their migratory path faces many challenges and milkweed, their only food source, is declining. The species is threatened, and its continued existence has been called into question.

Due to efforts made across North America by concerned individuals, environmental organizations, and cities like Richmond Hill, the amount of milkweed habitat has been increased but the fate of the Monarch remains precarious and uncertain. There is more work to be done to ensure the continued survival of this iconic species.

In order to increase the odds that Monarchs will continue to thrive, scientists have been learning about the Monarch Butterfly. One of the pioneering scientists was U of T professor Fred Urquhart who did early research on Monarch butterflies in the 1970’s, independently tagging Monarchs to learn about their migration paths. However, a tagging program is now available that encourages everyone, kids and adults, to help out. CLICK HERE TO HELP!

August 22nd was declared Flight of the Monarch Day in Richmond Hill. To celebrate the annual migration of the Monarch Butterfly from Richmond Hill to Mexico I put forth a challenge for Richmond Hill residents in 2020 to raise and tag and release Monarch Butterflies. Together, we exceeded our target of tagging and releasing over 100 butterflies. I am delighted that we are able to organize this pandemic approved community activity again in 2021.

Register here

Join our Tagging Team for the 2nd Annual Monarch Tagging Challenge:

or CALL: 416-346-3090.

Participants will be committing to having fun, doing some citizen science but most of all, helping the Monarch and Richmond Hill’s effort to save this iconic species. The collective goal of this Challenge is to tag and release Richmond Hill Monarchs on behalf of Monarch Watch, in order to help researchers study Monarch migration patterns and ultimately help ensure the long-term survival of the Monarch Butterfly.  

Next Steps

After registering for the challenge, click here for a PDF of the next steps to take to get started. Consider checking out the resource links below for more information.



About Richmond Hill’s Efforts to save Monarch Butterflies

About Monarchs, How you can Help, and How to Raise Monarchs

Link 1 | Link 2

Monarch Watch

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.

Mayors’ Monarch Pledge

Through the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, U.S. cities, municipalities, and other communities are committing to create habitat for the monarch butterfly and pollinators and to educate citizens about how they can make a difference at home and in their community.

Frederick Urquhart – A Short Biography | Urquhart Butterfly Garden

From an early age, Frederick A. Urquhart was fascinated by insects. Books and papers at school and the library spurred his interest and led him to ask the question which would later take him to Mex…