NIBLEY — An event later next week celebrates the Monarch butterfly and other winged insects. It also calls attention to the decline of the graceful colorful creatures.
“Utah’s Monarchs and Other Winged Insects Festival” will be held on Thursday, June 24th from 4 p.m. to dusk at Nibley Heritage Park.
On KVNU’s For the People program this past week, organizers Dr. Gail Morris of the Southwest Monarch Study was joined by Rose Dutson and Becky Yeager. Dutson explained the purpose of the festival.
“We’re doing this because we want to bring awareness for Monarch conservation in our valley. We have a good population up here in our valley but the monarchs are in decline pretty seriously so we want to keep getting the word out that would need to protect them.
“But we also want to support other winged wonders, fireflies which our firefly park is adjacent to Heritage (Park). So you can stay later in the night and then go and check out the fireflies as they’re blinking,” Dutson explained.
She said the fireflies are at the peak of their breeding season, but the festival also celebrates dragon flies, bats and birds – all winged wonders. Dr. Morris said it’s not known why the monarch butterfly numbers are in decline.
“And that’s part of the conundrum of what we’re trying to learn to do. And so by providing good habitats, which both Rose and Becky are excellent at giving ideas on how to do that, with the milkweed…you’re providing the opportunity for them to be able to breed and have that population of theirs expand,” she said.
Dr. Morris said in addition to that, what they do is to encourage people to be on the lookout for monarch adults, but also the caterpillars and the milkweed. Then to register the sightings, if you can, with a group called Journey North that tracks the monarchs as they move all across the entire United States.
For more information search for ‘Monarchs and Other Winged Wonders Festival 2021’ on Facebook.