September 13, 2014

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary hosts Monarch biologist John Drummond

Free lecture focuses on monarch conservation

Photo courtesy of John Drummond

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary welcomes Professor John Drummond of Lafayette College on September 27 at 5:30 p.m in the Visitor Center for a free lecture on monarch migration. Drummond's talk will focus on conservation efforts underway to help the decline of the iconic butterflies.

"At this most critical time for monarch butterflies, my goal is to inspire as many people as I can to engage in monarch conservation efforts," says Drummond. 

Daytime activities for children will focus on learning about monarchs as well and will include "Journey North: Symbolic Migration" (write a note and decorate a butterfly that we send to a school in Mexico), a chance to make a butterfly kite and life-cycle mobile, a display of live monarch caterpillars and monarch wingtags, and more.

Monarchs are one of the most recognizable of all butterflies, and are the only species of North American species that completes a long-distance migration totaling upwards of 3,000 miles every winter.

The monarchs have experienced a dramatic decline in population over the last decade though, and the lowest-ever wintering population in Mexico was recorded in winter 2012-2013. This follows a previous all-time low, just three years prior. Drummond will review the factors leading to these low numbers and explain what critical actions need to be taken to secure a future for the monarchs.

Celebrating 80 years in raptor conservation, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is the world's first refuge for birds of prey and an international center for raptor conservation. The 2,500-acre Sanctuary, 8-mile trail system and Visitor Center is open to the public year-round. A trail fee or membership dues supports local to global conservation programs, including public education, professional training and scientific research programs. Visit to learn more.