Monarch butterflies are beginning their migration south, so the Missouri Department of Conservation is offering free sessions for the public to learn about monarchs and also to tag butterflies to help scientists track their migrations.

The Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, 1401 N.W. Park Road, in Blue Springs, will offer Monarch Magic sessions from 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 6, 16 and 21. Attendees will learn about monarch migrations and also have a chance to tag monarchs, which bears a tracking number. If the tag is found and reported, scientists can tell where the butterfly was tagged and how far it traveled.

MDC’s Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave., in Kansas City, will offer Monarch Mania from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 16. Habitat loss has caused a decline in monarch butterfly populations in recent decades. Learn how you can help by planting monarch-friendly native plants. Milkweed and other native plant giveaways and hands-on butterfly themed crafts will be offered. You'll also have a chance to tag live monarchs.

The Missouri Prairie Foundation will also be at the Discovery Center and have native prairie plants for sale. These plants are suitable for home lawn and garden landscaping use. They help add host plants in an urban setting for wild birds, butterflies, moths and other pollinator species.

To register for the monarch program at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, call 816-228-3766; and at the Discovery Center, call 816-759-7300. To learn more about monarch butterflies in Missouri, visit http://on.mo.gov/2pxcS5T.