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Fun at the Refuge - ‘Mission Fly Away’

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By The Staff

Just days before the federal government shut down, the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge hosted two events. Thursday morning, seventh grade Memorial Middle School students  and refuge staff released 162 Monarch chrysalis as part of the “Mission Fly Away” Monarch Butterfly program sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Debbie Pike, the visitors services manager, Northern New Mexico National Wildlife Refuge Complex, said the students learned about pollination, migration, and the importance of habitat for the butterflies.

“The school piloted my program last year and released approximately 150 Monarchs,” Pike said.  “We are working with an international program, Monarch Watch, and record information prior to placing an identifiable tag on each Monarch and releasing them to continue their migration.”

Another 30 butterflies were released Sunday for the Concert for the Birds event at the refuge. Pike said about 70 people attended this year’s concert.