Monarch Tagging and Butterfly/Moth Identification 2017-11-03T11:56:58+00:00

Monarch Tagging and Butterfly Identification

Who doesn’t love running around in a sunny field with a butterfly net? Monarchs migrate en masse to Mexico every year for the winter, and we would like to learn more about their migration and population status by tagging them. Tremont volunteers have been tagging monarch butterflies in Cade’s Cove for many years. Participants also catch and identify other butterfly and insect species.

Age Group: Any age.

Seasonality: This project is done on several dates in September and October. 2017 Monarch Tagging dates are closed. Check back with us in 2018 for future dates!

See more monarch pictures on Facebook!

Scheduling for School Groups: This 1-1.5 hour activity fits in well with the solo sit portion of an all day Cade’s Cove trip. Half of the students engage in their solo sit while the other half catch butterflies, then the groups switch. If your school is scheduled for a 3-5-day program at Tremont and you’re interested in monarch tagging, email

Scheduling for Community Tagging Days: We often have more people who want to attend than equipment available, so we limit these days to 18 people (no more than 8 people per party please, to save room for others).  Each party/family may attend one day of tagging in order to give everybody a chance.  Alternatively, if the dates don’t fill up and you’d like another chance to go out, you are most welcome!

All ages are welcome for the public sign-up days and the group days, but children under age 18 are expected to have an adult guardian with them.

If you are unable to attend a date you signed up for, please email so that others may enjoy monarch tagging.

Once you use the form to select your top three dates, Juli Rigell, our Monarch Registrar, will respond to your request (usually within 24 hours).  Dates fill on a first come, first served basis.  If you have questions prior to signing up, you can ask them using the Comments section provided on the form or by emailing Juli at  

Donate for Monarchs

These fun days in the field are free, but they do come at a cost.  We invite you to contribute as much or as little as you like to our monarch tagging program.  You can bring your donation with you on your tagging day, or you can simply visit the link below to donate online. Please write ‘Monarch tagging program’ in the comments section.

Scheduling Private Groups:
Do you have an organized group of people that you would like to take out monarch-tagging?  A ‘group’ could be defined as a scout troop, a home-school cooperative, a special school group, a birthday party, a business retreat, or even a group of friends and family.  With our group reservation program, you have a special opportunity to reserve a day for your group of up to 25 people (minimum 10 people).  For $18 per person including adults, you can reserve this memorable day. If you are interested in this opportunity, please email Tiffany at to schedule a date and receive registration details.  These dates are separate from the ones listed above.

Where and when do we meet?

10:15 am at the visitor information shelter at the beginning of the Cades Cove driving loop.  We usually caravan to the fields.  We’ll typically be out for 2-4 hours, ending around 1:30 or 2pm (or later if the weather is nice).  

What to wear:
Field clothing, especially long pants, and hard, protective shoes.

What to bring:
Please bring your signed Tremont and NPS waiver forms if you haven’t already sent them back to Juli by your tagging date.
Plenty of water
Lunch and snacks
Sun screen and a hat for protection from the sun

What to bring if you want:
A butterfly net with a big hoop if you have one (don’t go buy one – we provide these)
Camera, Binoculars
Butterfly Field Guides
Bird and Wildflower Field Guides