Archive: Spread Your Wings for Butterflies at the Detroit Zoo June 1

Hands-on activities will recognize Butterfly Education and Awareness Day

May 28, 2019

Royal Oak 

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is celebrating Butterfly Education and Awareness Day on Saturday, June 1, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Detroit Zoo. Through various hands-on activities, visitors will learn about the significance of butterflies in the environment and how to protect these insects at home.

“Pollinator Talks” will take place at 11:30 a.m. inside the Zoo’s Butterfly Garden and at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the monarch waystation near the Red Panda Picnic Site. These specialized gardens are filled with plants that cultivate the breeding and migration of monarch butterflies.

“Populations of monarch butterflies have dropped significantly, mainly due to habitat loss,” said DZS Deputy Chief Life Sciences Officer Randi Meyerson. “Butterfly Education and Awareness Day is a great opportunity for us to highlight the crucial role butterflies play in our ecosystem and what we’re doing to save them.”

Guests will be able to engage in several educational activities at the Red Panda Picnic Site that are designed to increase awareness and appreciation for the many species of butterflies. DZS staff will have microscopes on hand for guests to view the intricate scales of butterfly wings. There will also be a chance for visitors to “become” a butterfly and “travel” through the metamorphosis cycle, beginning as a chrysalis and emerging as a winged butterfly.

The Zoo’s Butterfly Garden, located inside the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery, is home to hundreds of free-flying butterflies. Approximately 25 species can be observed engaging in many of their natural behaviors, including feeding on flower nectar or ripe fruit and basking in the sunlight. The DZS purchases about 250 butterfly pupae (chrysalises) each week from sustainable growers in Costa Rica and El Salvador.