Due to the recent popularity of butterfly releases, some questions have arisen about how this activity might affect the native wild population. This study in particular will address the question about how the release of lab-reared monarchs into the wild affects the ability of the butterfly to navigate during the fall migration. We released 5,343 monarchs in various western states starting on September 16, 1999 and ending on October 19, 1999. We were pleased to find out that they do indeed migrate. All of our monarchs were 8th to 9th generation lab-reared from 120 original wild caught monarchs. Even though there was no exposure to the wild-caught gene pool, that they were reared in lab conditions, and that they were transferred and released far from their natal origin, they were still able to navigate along with the wild population.

For more information about this detailed study, please click the following link:
Monarch Butterfly Migration Study - Do Farm Raised Monarchs Migrate?