Matt Douglas’ zoology students released Monarch butterflies from the top floor of the Lyon Street parking ramp yesterday afternoon, testing a hypothesis that they should fly south/southwest regardless of whether or not they have antennae.
This is the second significant release of Monarchs that Douglas’ students have played an important role in this year. GRCC alumna Holli Ward has a new business called Monarchs of Michigan, which now provides all the butterflies – and GRCC student interns – for the GRCC-sponsored Monarch Exhibit near the zoo’s South American display.
Students of biology professor Matt Douglas were instrumental in getting this exhibit started several years ago and are credited at the exhibit. This year’s first event was in August when several of Douglas’ biodiversity students, including Christina Larson and Courtney Allen, released 100 monarchs an hour for five hours to the delight of approximately 1500 spectators, mostly children, and a cadre of local media.