Fla. Museum to unveil renovated ‘Monarch Passage,’ butterfly migration videos

April 20th, 2011

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will unveil the newly renovated “Monarch Passage” that connects the Central Gallery to the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity at 10 a.m. Saturday. (April 23)

The museum installed seven 46-inch high-definition TVs to display videos of the monarch butterfly’s overwintering colonies in Mexico.

“Visitors to the ‘Monarch Passage’ will be totally surrounded by millions of flying monarch butterflies, as well as scenes of massive clumps of hibernating butterflies turning green mountain fir trees orange,” said McGuire Center Director Thomas C. Emmel.

Most Monarchs, like birds, migrate south in the fall and return every spring. They are the only butterflies known to make a two-way migration. The videos will also display Monarchs drinking from mountain streams, climbing flower stems to feed, courting and mating.

“The experience of being completely immersed in countless numbers of Monarchs at these overwintering colonies has been compared by many visitors to Mexico as one of the greatest spiritual moments and uplifting events in their lives,” Emmel said. “Now, you can come very close to the reality of this moving wilderness experience by visiting the Florida Museum.”

- 30 -

Source: Thomas Emmel, 352-273-2006, tcemmel@flmnh.ufl.edu
Writer: Leeann Bright
Media contact:  Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu