Sunday, Dec 11, 2016
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Monarch butterflies set for release

monarch-butterflies

Ryan Jacob, a naturalist at the Maumee Bay State Park, examines monarch caterpillars and chrysalises.

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The naturalists at Maumee Bay State Park will celebrate butterflies at the Milton B. Trautman Nature Center, near the Quilter Lodge, at noon Sunday.

Naturalist Ryan Jacob said the nature center, which has a monarch butterfly sanctuary, has raised the butterflies and will make its last release of the season. The butterflies will wing their way to Mexico.

"In the summers we are constantly raising monarch butterflies. We find the eggs in farm fields, on milkweeds," he said. Loss of habitat caused by the removal of milkweed threatens the butterfly population, he said.

"Unfortunately, it has the word 'weed' in it, but it's really a beautiful plant," Mr. Jacob said. "Often it's just mowed down or killed with herbicides. We're boosting the local population."

Mr. Jacob said few eggs were found in June and July this year because of the hot, dry weather. Normally, hundreds of butterflies are raised annually from the eggs.

The day is to include a slide show about butterfly crafts and cookie decorating. Attendees will be invited to help with the butterfly release. A $3 fee will be charged for children to participate in crafts.

The park is at 1400 State Park Rd., Oregon.

-- Carl Ryan

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