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Annual monarch festival sends winged animals South

The annual Meet a Monarch Festival gave local residents of Montville, New Jersey, a chance to say farewell to the orange and black butterflies that are migrating to Mexico for the winter, the Daily Record reports.

The event, held at the Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area, gave visitors the chance to tour butterfly gardens and get close to monarch butterflies in all stages, from egg to adult, the news source reports.

Originally put together to "give folks a better understanding of this amazing animal," the program is now the largest that Pyramid Mountain puts on each year, senior teacher naturalist Douglas Vorolieff told the news source.

"We try to promote the conservation of native plants, and discuss how important they are to specific animals. Without plants, we don’t have animals," Vorolieff said. "When people see these beautiful butterflies up close, they become interested in the issue of conservation."

MonarchWatch.org reports that monarch butterflies have the longest migration of any tropical butterfly - up to 3,000 miles away and back. They fly in masses to to the same winter roosts and often return to the exact same trees. 
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