Students at Oak Ridge School are learning about the Monarch butterfly. | Supplied Photo
Updated: December 12, 2012 6:04AM
Students in teacher Rene Elter’s second-grade class at Oak Ridge School in Palos Hills have been learning about the migratory patterns of the Monarch butterfly.
Students learned that each fall, millions of the butterflies travel up to 3,000 miles south to Mexico to escape the frigid winter temperatures of the United States and Canada. Once in Mexico, they hibernate from November to March in the oyamel fir trees on several mountain tops.
In class, students raised a small number of Monarch butterflies and tagged them using a special sticker obtained from Monarch Watch, an organization associated with the University of Kansas.
When recovered, these tagged butterflies help scientists track the butterflies’ migration paths. In the winter, scientists visit the Monarch sanctuaries in Mexico to search for tagged butterflies and estimate their populations.
Elter’s students took advantage of some warmer weather a while back to release the butterflies, and she said she hopes scientists find some of their tagged Monarchs.
Students in Room 2E are citizen scientists collaborating with real scientists in research into Monarch migration and conservation.
Provided to the SouthtownStar