PCB takes part in annual monarch tagging festival

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -- If you blink, you might miss them as they flutter by.

The Panama City Beach Parks and Recreation Department in Florida held its fourth annual Monarch Butterfly Tagging Festival Saturday at the Panama City Beach Conservation Park.

Residents of all ages could tag their very own monarch butterfly as the monarchs prepare to migrate for the winter.

Tracking a butterfly for 2,500 miles may seem like a big task, but the Parks and Rec Department makes it easy.

"Each tag is so tiny, it's actually a little sticker that they put on the wing of the butterfly. Each tag has an individual number and it's recorded," Cindy Mulla of Beach Mosquito Control explained. "We record if it's a male or female butterfly and we write down the number and we give the families that are here today the web address that they can follow their butterfly online to see where it actually makes the distance down to Mexico."

Beach Mosquito Control officials said they are keeping the butterflies safe while they keep mosquitoes away.

"We're not here harming the butterflies; what we do actually just controls mosquitoes. We're not harming any of the non-target species here locally in the area," Mulla continued. "And we also love butterflies and we love our environment and we work very closely with the environment."

The butterflies were caught in the Conservation Park and then re-released after they were tagged.

The event also featured rock painting, members of the Native Plant Society and free milkweed seeds.

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