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Acorn Adventure: Monarch Tagging in Cades Cove

Do you know that the Monarch butterflies we see in our yards, in city parks, on the trail and in the fields migrate some 2,000 miles each autumn to spend their winter in Mexico? Do you know that the same Monarchs fly back to the United States in the spring?! 

Kids of all ages are invited to join our annual monarch butterfly tagging program with naturalist Wanda DeWaard. During this expert-led, hands-on educational experience in Cades Cove, we'll learn how to safely observe, collect and properly identify several types of winged insects. Our main focus will be Monarchs where we will gently catch the butterflies with the net provided, add a small tag to a wing, record the tag information, identify the gender and release it to carry on its mission.

Your contribution to this Citizen Science effort will be to used to help scientists answer many questions about the origin of the monarchs that reach Mexico, the timing and pace of migration, changes in geographic distribution and more. Help us build a deeper understanding of the monarch butterfly's effort to survive.

Activity rating: Easy active - moderate. Great for people who want to participate in a low-impact outdoor program. Distances: 2 - 5 miles maximum. Settings: Walks that ramble along uneven trails and waterways with exposed roots and rocks. Potential for slight elevation gain and loss. Participants could encounter hazards such as exposed roots and rocks, insects and snakes. Read more about GSMA's Activity Rating Scale HERE.

Mileage Anticipated for this Event: 2.5 miles maximum

What to Bring: In your day-pack loaded with your field guide, a hand lens and a notebook, make sure you bring a day pack loaded with enough food and water for your comfort. Wear good shoes with soles made for hiking and bring all-weather gear (we go rain or shine). Download a digital version of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park trail map.

Meeting location: Cades Cove Orientation Shelter 

Required Reading: With your registration, you confirm you have read and agree to our Waivers and Policy Agreements.



How Our Fees Work


Member Fee: $20

Acorn Fee: $5

Please sign in above or use the register link if you have not yet registered your membership. Your membership discount will be applied at the time of check out. 


Bring a Guest: If you plan to bring a non-member guest, please choose the non-member fee below. This charge includes your guest's event registration, as well as an automatic annual Buckeye membership good for one year from today.

Non-Member Fee: Not Available. Branch Out events are limited to members only. Please purchase a membership prior to registering for this event. After you’ve joined (THANK YOU!), please follow member instructions above to register for this event.

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