Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will release tagged monarchs as part of its annual ButterflyFest Oct. 18-19, participating for the second year in the national Monarch Watch program, which tracks the butterflies’ migration to Mexico.

The Florida Museum of Natural History’s ButterflyFest is a celebration of wings and backyard things. This year’s key-note speaker is Robert Michael Pyle, award winning author and conservationist, and founder of the Xerces Society. Pyle will discuss some of his intriguing field adventures and the current status of butterfly populations and habitats – particularly in view of climate change fluctuation.

Registration forms for special fee-based field trips, behind-the-scenes tours and workshops during the weekend should be mailed by Oct. 10 and are available online,

Festival admission is free, and fees for special activities range in price from $25 to $70.

Fee-based programs requiring preregistration include: the Butterflies and Birds Morningside Field Trip on Friday, Oct. 17, and the Backyard Wildlife Photography Workshop, Butterfly Garden Design Workshop, Picture-Perfect Rainforest Photography, McGuire Behind-the-Scenes tour and the Container Gardening Workshop on Saturday and Sunday.

Participants must be 18 to attend these special sessions, with the exception of the container gardening workshop, which is open to groups with one member over 18.

From workshops to arts and crafts, ButterflyFest offers something for everyone to enjoy in a fun and educational environment. For more information, visit

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Writer: Morgan Lamborn
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054,