Greetings, Monhegan Associates trustees, committee members, and friends:
As many of you know, I’m on the island every fall with a butterfly net discovering more about Monhegan’s biodiversity, and tagging Monarchs in the interest of conservation. This fall, starting in earnest on Friday, a few colleagues and I hope to tag more than 200 Monarchs on the island. It means that you’ll be seeing a few of us netting Monarchs — notably at Lobster Cove, at hotspots on the eastern side, and along roadsides. I’m particularly interested in the fate of late-season Monarchs along the New England coast; this tagging will help us learn.
For the most part, our efforts are welcomed by islanders and visitors. But as I understand it, on a few occasions, a Monarch tagger has been reprimanded in no uncertain terms about catching butterflies on the island. To be sure, none of us have any intention to visit private property for this work without permission. But this activity is perfectly legal in Maine — and most everywhere across the continent. So if you might help spread the word, perhaps we can avoid any awkward confrontations as we go about this wonderful citizen-research over the next couple of weeks.
If anyone has questions, please send them my way. Thanks!
Warm regards,— Bryan Pfeiffer
P.S. An essay and a few other links related to Monhegan Monarchs: