Tagged Monarch

A “tagged” monarch butterfly, B3745 Izak, rests on a flower in Brookings on the day he was released in 2017. Izak was found at an overwintering site in Santa Cruz with other monarchs in November 2017.

After becoming the first Oregon city to receive the Monarch City USA designation, Brookings is committing to do more for the butterfly.

The City Council unanimously approved, 5-0, moving forward with the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge at its Jan. 27 meeting much to the delight of the Brookings Oregon Monarch Advocates in attendance.

Through the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, U.S. cities, municipalities, and other communities are committing to create habitat for the monarch butterfly and pollinators and to educate citizens about how they can make a difference at home and in their community.

BOMA member Dennis Triglia, wearing a monarch butterfly orange colored shirt and tennis shoes, walked the council through the process.

After taking the online Mayors’ Monarch Pledge the National Wildlife Federation will follow up with the point person, whom the city specifies on the pledge form and identifies at least three specific actions that the community will initiate in the next year, Triglia said. A list of 25 action items is available online.

“The National Wildlife Federation will share best practices for cities and municipalities through their online resources section, vocational email updates, social media and webinars,” Triglia said.

Once the specific actions have been identified, communities will report their progress through a simple online survey form on an annual basis. The reporting process will only take 5-25 minutes depending on how many action items you are reporting. The data that they collect will allow them to track the collective outcomes and the impact, Triglia said.

“Volunteers from Brookings Monarch Advocates are happy to assist the city in any way that we can in order to help coordinate efforts by the city and other local organizations and individuals who become involved in the conservation efforts,” Triglia said.

Triglia also updated the council on BOMA projects and news.

In March, the Brookings Oregon Monarch Advocates is going to have a series of four classes at Southwestern Oregon Community College Brookings campus on monarchs, their host plants, how to start monarch waystations, and responsible captive rearing practices from egg to butterfly. They will be on each Thursday in March from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Triglia said BOMA was going to be reaching out to the management team of Salmon Run Golf Course and see about “the possibility of planting some milkweed maybe on the back 40 of Salmon Run if there is a place.”

Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on the leaves of milkweed, the only host plant for this iconic butterfly species. As such, milkweed is critical for the survival of monarchs. Without it, they cannot complete their life cycle and their population declines.

Another milkweed planting avenue was with Statia Ryder of the Curry Watersheds Partnership, Triglia added.

Perhaps the city would consider setting up monarch waystation in lower Stout Park, Triglia asked.

“I know that is an area that is sort of in the middle of nowhere, but it gets great sun for milkweed if you ever want to do that,” Triglia said.

Triglia said he attended the Western Monarch Advocates Summit in Carmel, Calif.

“Brookings and Ovaltine, the butterfly who was responsible for the big egg dump that we had has achieved international press attention,” he said. “They all know where Brookings is now.”

After the vote, Mayor Jake Pieper said they would bring a proclamation back at a future meeting and also thanked BOMA for its effort.

“You guys should be proud of yourself for what you have done,” Pieper said.


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