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. Children under 18 need an adult guardian in attendance.

Seasonality: Annually, we tag monarchs on several dates in September and October.

2020 Monarch Tagging Dates

Sign up for your desired date below. Each group is limited to 10 people. Some dates will have two groups, distinguished either as Hyatt Lane or Sparks Lane (you will meet at the entrance Kiosk regardless). Please sign up for only one date and limit your party to 5 to allow as many people as possible to experience the wonder of this fun program. For questions or exceptions, please contact [email protected].

Due to the threat of COVID-19, ALL participants over the age of 5 will be required to wear masks when social distancing is not possible. Thank you so much for helping keep our human community safe as we study our ecological community!

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.

Monday, Sept. 14 FULL
Tuesday, Sept. 15 (Hyatt Lane) FULL
Tuesday, Sept. 15 (Sparks Lane) FULL
Thursday, Sept. 17 FULL
Saturday, Sept. 19 (Hyatt Lane) FULL
Saturday, Sept. 19 (Sparks Lane) FULL
Monday, Sept. 21 (Hyatt Lane) FULL
Monday, Sept. 21 (Sparks Lane) FULL
Tuesday, Sept. 22 (Hyatt Lane) FULL
Tuesday, Sept. 22 (Sparks Lane) FULL
Thursday, Sept. 24 FULL
Friday, Sept. 25 (Hyatt Lane) FULL
Friday, Sept. 25 (Sparks Lane) FULL
Tuesday, Sept. 29 (Hyatt Lane)
Tuesday, Sept. 29 (Sparks Lane) FULL

Friday, Oct. 2 (Hyatt Lane) FULL
Friday, Oct. 2 (Sparks Lane) FULL
Saturday, Oct. 3 (Hyatt Lane) FULL
Saturday, Oct. 3 (Sparks Lane) FULL
Monday, Oct. 5 FULL
Tuesday, Oct. 6 (Hyatt Lane) FULL
Tuesday, Oct. 6 (Sparks Lane) FULL
Thursday, Oct. 8 (Hyatt Lane) FULL
Thursday, Oct. 8 (Sparks Lane) FULL
Friday, Oct. 9 (Hyatt Lane) FULL
Friday, Oct. 9 (Sparks Lane) FULL
Monday, Oct. 12 FULL
Friday, Oct. 16 FULL

Saturday, Oct. 17 FULL
Monday, Oct. 19 FULL
Tuesday, Oct. 20 FULL
Thursday, Oct. 22 FULL
Friday, Oct. 23 FULL
Saturday, Oct. 24 FULL
Monday, Oct. 26 FULL
Tuesday, Oct. 27 FULL
Thursday, Oct. 29 FULL
Friday, Oct. 30 FULL
Saturday, Oct. 31 (Hyatt Lane) FULL
Saturday, Oct. 31 (Sparks Lane) 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!

Donate

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 (limited this year due to COVID-19).  For a flat rate of $200, you can reserve this memorable day.  If you are interested in this opportunity, please email Erin at [email protected] to schedule a date and receive registration details.  These dates are separate from the ones listed above.

Where and when do we meet?

10:30 am 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).  

What to Wear

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

What to Bring

  • Please bring your signed NPS waiver forms (if you haven’t already sent them back to Juli by your tagging date)
  • Mask (All participants over the age of 5 will be required to wear masks 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