ACE recently attended an event titled “Concert for the Birds,” celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Las Vegas, NM Wildlife Refuge. The ACE crew assisted in several ways: weeding the educational ADA trail that surrounds the Wildlife Refuge headquarters of Musk Thistle, setting up the tents for the event, and managing educational games for the children attending the event.
The whole festival was a means of showing appreciation to the public for their continuous love and support of the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge, as well as to promote the importance and necessity of National Wildlife Refuges around the country. The festival highlighted the importance of the refuge in welcoming an influx of migratory birds that stop by to recharge while on their journey south for the winter. The continued good health of this and all refuges is crucial in maintaining a steady ecological balance, perpetuating the lives of migrating birds, mammals, fish, waterfowl, and native grasses.
ACE crews also tagged Monarch butterflies as part of their hitch. Monarch butterflies are endangered due to lack of habitat. They depend on milkweeds which provide nectar for migration, and are one of the only plants where they will lay their eggs.
Once ACE corps members had distinguished between a male or female Monarch butterflies they placed a thin round sticker–a third the size of a penny–on the discal cell of the under wing of the butterfly and recorded the “tag number” of the sticker, the gender of the butterfly and the date it was tagged. There was a flowering bush nearby that the corps members placed them on once the tagging was complete. From here, the butterflies will travel south to Mexico for the winter, heading back north during the spring.