Monarch tagging begins Monday, August 15, at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center, and visitors are welcome to participate in this free citizen science program. Visitors are especially encouraged to tag monarchs on the following dates and times: Monday, August 21, through Friday, August 25, from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm each day. Extra staff and the Jr. Friends of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center (PWLC) are scheduled to assist taggers during these particular dates and times. People of all ages may participate in tagging. The PWLC provides butterfly nets, tags, and prairie habitat rich with native blooming prairie flowers, important nectar sources for migrating adult monarchs. Once visitors catch monarchs and bring them inside, staff tags them, records data about them, and returns them to the visitor to release. When a tagged butterfly is recaptured elsewhere along its migratory route, the PWLC will be notified and will let the tagger know where and when it was found, by whom, and how many miles it traveled. Several Fergus Falls residents, Paul Jaros, Jessica Tungseth, Matthew Scott, and Jo Fritz, recently received certificates for monarchs recovered in Mexico which they tagged last year. Monarch tagging begins on August 15 every year and continues daily during visitor center open hours until the last monarchs have migrated south to Mexico. “The peak tagging period usually takes place during the last two weeks of August and gradually tapers off from there,” stated Teresa Jaskiewicz, environmental education specialist. Monarch butterflies are important because the. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently assessing monarch populations and conservation measures to determine if federal protection under the Endangered Species Act is warranted. A listing decision is due in June 2019. The PWLC has partnered with Monarch Watch through the University of Kansas since 1998 to make monarch tagging possible and to contribute authentic data to the conservation of this iconic and yet vanishing species. For more info, visit www.monarchwatch.com. People have tagged 4,906 monarchs here in the last 19 years. A total of 57 PWLC tags have been recovered from five locations: • Serra Chincua, Cerro Pelon, Piedra Herrada, and El Rosario, Mexico; over 1,880 miles away from the PWLC. • Lidderdale, Iowa, directly south of the PWLC. The visitor center is open year-round, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. It is closed Federal holidays. The Prairie Wetland Learning Center (PWLC) is comprised of 330 acres of wetlands and prairies and includes a visitor center with classrooms, exhibit hall, and dining area, plus four miles of trails and 28 wetlands. It is located on State Highway 210 East, south of Fergus Falls, one mile from exit 57 off I-94. For more information, call (218) 998-4480, visit www.fws.gov/refuge/fergus_falls_wmd or find the PWLC on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PrairieWetlands. The PWLC is part of the Fergus Falls Wetland Management District, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service). The Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the over 568-million-acres, which encompasses over 560 National Wildlife Refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations. For more information, visit www.fws.gov.