Monarch Butterfly tagging project

In November of 2015 the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources engaged in a winter Monarch Butterfly tagging project. The number of monarchs making the 3,400 mile migration from the United States and Canada to Mexico declined in recent years before recovering in 2014 initiating this project.

Volunteers on Fripp Island and the SC coast have been catching monarchs, affixing adhesive backed, numbered and coded tags to the underside of the hindwing, above the Discal Cell and then releasing the butterfly.

As these tagged butterflies migrate they feed and lay their eggs on the milkweed plant, die off and leave the next generation to carry on the migration. 

The Fripp Islandís Audubon Club can assist in the data collection, if you see a monarch butterfly (dead or alive) with a tag, please take a cell phone picture and send to Linda Sigafoos at

The butterfly number and code will then be traced and a migration pattern determined. 

On January 25, 2016, Joyce Bergh found a dead monarch butterfly on Fripp Island, submitted the photo, we were then able to identify TPJ215 as a female butterfly tagged on Edisto Beach on 11/20/15. An amazing picture emerges of several computer generated patterns of this monarchs 66 day journey. This is the data that will make this project a success.

Linda Sigafoos (Team Leader)