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Ultralight Plane Migrating with Monarch Butterflies to Stop in Washington


News Advisory:

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.

WHAT: 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 St., N.W., between M and N Sts., Washington

(Free parking is available in WWF’s parking garage, 1250 24th St., N.W.)

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


NOTE: NOTE: Still photos, DVD, B-roll available

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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