Deadline for workshop on raising monarch caterpillars

Date(s) - Friday, Jul 08, 2016
5:00 pm

Audubon Center & Sanctuary


You can learn how to raise monarch caterpillars and release the butterflies to help increase their numbers in a workshop from 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 14 at the Audubon Nature Center, 1600 Riverside Rd., one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, NY, and Warren, PA.

Class size is limited. While geared to adults and older children, the program is available to all ages.

The cost is $16 for the public, $12 for Friends of the Nature Center and children 3-15 and free for children 2 and under.

Paid reservations are required by Friday, July 8 and can be made by calling (716) 569-2345 during business hours or online.

Mostly an indoor program, it will include a short walk outside to see the milkweed patch, the only food of monarch caterpillars.

You will also learn how to find monarch eggs and caterpillars and how to avoid butterfly diseases and parasites that infect the caterpillars.

Depending on the local monarch butterfly population and the success of Audubon’s breeding program, you may be able to take a caterpillar home to care for.

Instructor Jeff Tome is a naturalist at the Nature Center who has been raising and caring for Monarch caterpillars for more than a decade. He spends many hours during the summer raising butterflies that will be released at the Monarch Butterfly Festival on the Saturday August 27. The Audubon Nature Center has been raising and releasing large numbers of monarch butterflies for 10 years as part of the annual Monarch Butterfly Festival.

Butterflies are fun to raise with kids, grandchildren or on your own, and this project can increase the local population of a butterfly that has been hard to find in recent times.

Following devastating declines, thanks at least in part to human efforts, last year there were 150 percent more monarchs on their wintering ground than there were the year before. The population recovered almost to historic levels, but a sudden snowstorm devastated them at the end of winter.  Scientists are not sure how damaging the loss was, but monarchs are migrating north in smaller numbers that expected.