Monarch Tagging

The Madison County Conservation Board will be hosting a Monarch tagging event this fall. The date of the monarch tagging event is hit and miss every year as we watch the migration date come in and attempt to align our event with the peak of the fall migration. 

Monarch tagging

Looking at the data so far this year shows that the first of the monarchs are now starting to move into northern Iowa which is about a week sooner than they began appearing in Iowa last year. 

Based on this, our monarch tagging event will tentatively be scheduled for Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Hanson Prairie. Monarch tagging is best in the late evening as the butterflies begin to settle on their roosts to rest up for the next day. 

Pre-registration is required for this event and is available online at Select the events tab and click on Madison County to see a list of available programs. This program is family friendly and open to people of all ages.

Please keep in mind that monarch tagging depends on the presence of monarchs. If no monarchs are present, we will go for a hike along the mowed firebreak trails that border the prairie segments. 

Participants should come dressed for the weather and should consider long pants and sturdy shoes since monarch tagging may require participants to venture off the walking paths and into the prairie. 

Take A Hike: Wednesday, Sept. 23

Join us for a hike on the backbone trail on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. Now that it is getting dark early, this will be a great opportunity to check out the park at sunset. There will also be an opportunity to see the oldest known oak tree in Iowa. 

This hike is family friendly and open to people of all ages. The backbone trail is one of the easier hiking paths in the park great for young children and older adults. 

Preregistration is required for this event. To register, visit and chose Madison County under the events tab or visit our Facebook page for a direct link. If you are unable to register online, call our office at 515-462-3536.