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World Wildlife Fund Photo Opportunity, Media Availability; Ultralight Plane Migrating with Monarch Butterflies To Land in Washington; Photo Available


News Advisory:

World Wildlife Fund Photo Opportunity, Media Availability

Ultralight Plane Migrating with Monarch Butterflies To Land in Washington


Final East Coast media availability and photo opportunity with monarch ultralight plane, crew and monarch butterfly experts


Dr. Lincoln Brower, WWF senior fellow and Sweet Briar College professor; world authority on monarch butterfly biology

Carlos Galindo Leal, forests program director, WWF-Mexico

Francisco “Vico” Gutierrez, lead pilot and director of the Papalotzin project


D.C. Parks & Recreation’s Francis Field, 25th Street between M and N Sts., N.W., Washington (Metered parking is available on N St. and free parking is available in WWF’s parking garage, 1250 24th St.)


Thursday, Sept. 15, 10 to 11 a.m.


In a historic transcontinental flight, a crew piloting an ultralight plane, Papalotzin, is following and filming the annual migration this year of North America’s monarch butterflies. The motorized hang glider -- painted like a monarch butterfly -- will stop in Washington from Sept. 14-19. This will be the plane’s final East Coast stop.

During the trip, a team is filming a documentary about the life, flight and challenges facing the monarch butterfly. The monarch is the only insect that migrates and its annual journey has been declared “an endangered migratory phenomenon.” The ultralight plane left Canada in late August, along with the monarchs, and will arrive at the butterflies’ Mexican wintering grounds in November.

The “Papalotzin” project, which means “little butterfly” in the Aztec language Nahuatl, is supported by World Wildlife Fund, the Telcel Alliance and the Michoacan, Mexico, State Government.



B-roll and still photos of the Papalotzin plane and the spectacle of monarchs wintering in Mexican forests will be available. The ultralight plane and monarch experts will also be at the Smithsonian National Zoo on Sunday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. as part of Hispanic Heritage Month festivities.

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