Monarch butterfly tagging in Dubuque County - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Monarch butterfly tagging in Dubuque County

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DUBUQUE COUNTY (KWWL) -

Nine-year old Britney Reynolds and her grandfather are spending their morning catching monarch butterflies.

They're not keeping them, they're tagging them, helping the Dubuque County Conservation Board.

She loves everything about this. "Just catching it, looking at it, tagging it, releasing it," she said.

The monarchs are tagged with a sticker that has a code to keep track of their great migration to warmer places like Mexico for the winter. 

This is because their population is decreasing.  Scientists believe it's because of extreme weather and deforestation. "The monarchs have started to decline probably for the last five years or more, so they wanted to try to keep track of the data to see what the population is doing every year," said Kaytlan Moeller, Naturalist for the Dubuque County Conservation Board.

So with the perfect weather and a light breeze at Whitewater Canyon, the Virtue family is ready to catch them all. "You gotta watch and wait, and you gotta move quick when you do see them," said Tavis Virtue.

Best of all, it's just a great way to get the family outdoors.

There is another monarch tagging event scheduled at Swiss Valley Nature Center on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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