Meet Canadian Naturalist
Mr. Don Davis

September, 2005
I have been tagging monarch butterflies since 1968. I have no idea how many butterflies I have tagged, but it is in the tens of thousands. The Monarch Watch data base says I have had 137 recoveries, mostly in Mexico.

I still hold a Guinness Record for Longest Migration by a Butterfly. My Guinness Book record reads as follows:

"A tagged male monarch (Danaus plexippus), released by Donald A. Davis (Canada) at Presqu'ile provincial Park near Brighton, Ontario, Canada, on 10 September 1988, was recaptured on 8 April 1989 in Austin, Texas, U.S.A., travelling an estimated 2880 miles, making this the World's Longest Butterfly Migration.
Keeper of the Records
Guinness World Records Ltd

In Dr. Fred Urquhart's opinion, this butterfly had flown to Mexico and was making the return trip back. Another interesting recovery was one found on an oil rig, 100 miles south of Galveston, Texas.

I started tagging with Dr. Fred and Mrs. Norah Urquhart. (They officially ending their tagging program in 1992.) For a couple of years after they stopped tagging, I had my own tags printed up and some were found in Mexico by David Marriott of the Monarch Program (California). That's when I heard about the Monarch Program, and used their tags, which included the Urquhart method, applying a tag with “crazy glue” on the rear wing and, lastly, the new circular tags.

I'm involved with Journey North (I think since it began), Monarch Watch, Michoacan Reforestation Fund, Monarch Teacher-Network Canada and a number of other natural history and nature organizations. I've had the privilege of being written about ("Four Wings and a Prayer") and was in the documentary "The Monarch - Butterfly Beyond orders". I was filmed last fall by the crew making a movie out of "Four Wings and a Prayer" and most recently filmed by the Papalotzin team."

Don Davis
Visiting the monarchs in Mexico.

Record Migration 2,880 Miles!

Don Davis holds the Guinness Record for the longest migration by a tagged butterfly.