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  • Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: March 25, 1997

    There's lots of news to report this week. First, here are the most recent sightings for your map:

    Where in the World?
    Please Note: Several teachers have said it's difficult to plot migration data because the cities are hard to find on many maps. In addition, much class time is spent using the road atlas. Teachers have asked that latitude and longitude readings be provided instead, as they feel this would be of more value to students.

    We need your help! Few participants are including this information with their sightings. We can't manually add lat/long information to the data ourselves. Therefore, we ask that all participants take the time to learn their own latitude and longitude.

    Here are resources you can use:

    Answers from the Expert
    Special thanks to monarch biologist Karen Oberhauser for providing "Answers from the Expert" as part of today's report. Each year she answers students questions so well, and then reminds us that there's much more to be learned about these incredible creatures--even for an expert!

    Monarch Migration Progressing Through Texas
    Contributed by Dr. William Calvert, Texas Monarch Watch
    "The Texas Monarch Watch has been in Mexico for the past month. At the overwintering colonies colonies, monarchs have been seen flying north in small numbers all during the month of March. About now they are pouring out of the colonies to fly north to find milkweed upon which to lay eggs.

    "Already reports are coming in from a number of places in Texas. Some coastal areas report heavy monarch activity, especially around Corpus Christi. Most of these are in very worn and tattered condition indicating that they have flown from Central Mexico. The Central Prairies near Austin have many monarch females searching for milkweeds over last weekend. An egg count had revealed that many had laid eggs on the Prairie Milkweed. Remember, spring monarchs are much less concentrated than fall monarchs. A good spring count is no more than few per day."

    Driving North with the Monarchs
    Here another Monarch Watch observer describes a car trip northward in Texas, watching for monarchs along the way:

    "After spending several days in South Texas in the San Antonio area (where I saw many monarchs) I drove back to Dallas today (March 22nd) and thought I'd keep a record of how far north the Monarchs had progressed.

    Monarchs were still quite common throughout the Austin area but became more and more scarce as I progressed northward. I saw the last one in the town of Troy, Texas, about 15 miles north of Temple, Texas. For those of you without a map handy, this is about the "mid-way" point of the state. Normally I see them in Dallas around the 20th-22nd, so they seem to be running a little behind this year, although pretty close to the norm. I'll let you know when they hit Big" Dale Clark
    Dallas, Texas

    How to Report a Monarch:
    When you see your first monarch this spring, please send a Field Report to Journey North. On the left-hand side of this page you'll see a blue owl button. Simply press the button and a FIELD DATA FORM will appear. If you have any trouble using this system, send a message to our feedback form We'd be happy to help you!

    Symbolic Migration Update
    With monarchs storming their way through Texas, could the paper butterflies be far behind? Here's the latest: Next Tuesday, April 1st Paplote del Niņo will hold a send-off party for the 40,000 monarchs, and bid them farewell. Read today's Symbolic Migration Update for details. While you wait for your paper butterflies, please keep your eyes peeled so you can report the FIRST monarch butterfly you see this spring, and help track their journey.

    Finally, here are Fernando Romero's latest reports. We don't read Spanish at the Journey North office, we believe these are also his last report of the season today. Enjoy!

    The Next Monarch Butterfly Migration Update Will be Posted on April 1, 1997.