Monarch Tagging and Butterfly/Moth Identification2021-09-16T15:57:02-04:00

Monarch Tagging and Butterfly Identification

Who doesn’t love running around in a sunny field with a butterfly net? Eastern 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. This free educational program engages participants in monarch natural history, community science, identification of local butterflies, and connection to place in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Age Group: Any age. Children under 18 need an adult guardian in attendance.

Seasonality: Annually each fall. Dates are published in early September.

Why it Matters

Tagging monarchs helps us uncover where our Tennessee monarchs overwinter, survival rates along the journey, the timing of the migration, and if these and other natural history events will change with changes in climate, land use, and other factors. These beautiful and fascinating insects are threatened, and attending this educational program helps our community come together to learn how to protect these and other pollinator species in our local ecosystem and beyond.

2021 Monarch Tagging Dates

Sign up for your desired date below. Each date is limited to 10 people.  Please sign up for only one date and limit your party to 5 to allow as many groups as possible to experience the wonder of this fun program. For questions please contact [email protected].

Please note: Online registration serves as the Tremont volunteer waiver form for you and your dependents. Please include the name of each individual in your party when you complete the registration. Register all group participants at once. If the link does not allow you to add all participants, it is because there are fewer spaces left available than # in your group.

Tuesday, September 28

Thursday, September 30-FULL

Tuesday, October 5 — Session 1-FULL

Tuesday, October 5 — Session 2-FULL

Thursday, October 7-FULL

Saturday, October 16-FULL

Sunday, October 17-FULL

Tuesday, October 19-FULL

Saturday, October 23-FULL

Sunday, October 24- FULL

Monday, October 25

Thursday, October 28-FULL

Join a Wait List

If you would like to join a wait list for a full date, please email [email protected] with the date and number of people in your party. Thank you!


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.

Donate for Monarchs

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 10 people for a flat rate of $200.  If you are interested in this opportunity, please email Erin at [email protected] to schedule a date and receive registration details.  These dates may differ from the ones listed above.

Where and when do we meet?

At the visitor information shelter at the beginning of the Cades Cove driving loop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 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).  You must be registered to join.

What to Wear

Field clothing, especially long pants, and hard, protective shoes.

What to Bring

  • Please bring your signed NPS waiver forms
  • Face covering/mask for use when social distancing is not possible
  • Plenty of water
  • Lunch and snacks
  • Sun screen and a hat for protection from the sun

Optional Items to Consider Bringing

  • 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

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