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Monarch Butterfly

Journey South News will be posted on Wednesdays: Sep. 6, 13, 20, 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8...or until the monarchs arrive in Mexico!

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About the 5th Annual Symbolic Migration


Journey South News

  • Mexican President Signs Decree to Increase Monarch Sanctuaries!
    Last week, while millions of monarch butterflies were arriving at their over-wintering forest, Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo signed a decree that will greatly increase the size of their protected sanctuaries. In total, the size of the monarch sanctuaries will increase from only 16,000 hectares to 56,000 hectares.Thank you, President Zedillo--and thank YOU for helping monarchs.As part of the Symbolic Migration this fall, Journey North participants donated a total of $7,272 for monarch conservation in Mexico.
  • Monarch Migration Update: September 6, 2000
    Reports of aggregating and migrating monarchs arrived as early as August 6th this year from Minnesota. The big pulse has already moved through that state and last week's peak was in the Dakotas.When do you think the migration reach you? See last year's map to estimate its arrival. Monarch butterflies are born knowing the way to Mexico--do you? Guess which way they should fly from your hometown, then try today's lesson. Finally, predict when the first monarchs will be sighted in Mexico's monarch sanctuary region. Students there are watching and waiting!
  • Monarch Migration Update: September 13, 2000
    A strong cold front pushed Monarchs through Iowa on Monday. "There were clouds of monarchs in the air as the front moved through," reported Kittrell Elementary. Will the same cold front finally trigger migration in the east? The southernmost edge of the peak migration now appears to be in Nebraska. As the monarchs move through the corn belt, what nectar is available? Estimate how many monarchs are in this alfalfa field.
  • Monarch Migration Update: September 20, 2000
    At last, the first signs of migration are being reported from the East! But people across the region say monarchs are scare this year. What might be the cause? Does Cape May Monarch Monitoring Project data support this view? Can you explain why it's impossible to see a baby monarch?
  • Monarch Migration Update: September 27, 2000
    Bienvenidas a Mexico! The first monarchs have crossed the border. So if you can't read Spanish, it's time to find a friend who can. Meanwhile, monarchs are funneling into Texas, where drought conditions make nectar scarce. At last, the migration in the eastern regions has picked up its pace. But monarchs aren't the only butterflies that migrate---and what about the ones that remain for the cold, northern winters?
  • Monarch Migration Update: October 4, 2000
    The forward edge of the monarch migration continues to push southward. "Las mariposas estan pasando por Saltillo," reports Rocio Trevino from which Mexican state? This is the farthest south of any sighting yet. But monarchs are still coming down from Canada and northern states. Will these late monarchs make it to Mexico? What does Don Davis' tagging data suggest?
  • Monarch Migration Update: October 11, 2000
    The migration was frozen in place last week, as the cold, arctic air mass took temperatures across the continent to record lows. Migrating monarchs and the Space Shuttle were grounded by the same gusty winds. Gusts up to 30 mph blew thousands into the ocean, as Denise Gibbs reports from Virginia. How warm are the temperatures where the monarchs are heading? And how do butterflies that don't migrate suvive the cold?
  • Monarch Migration Update: October 18, 2000
    The exciting news we've all been waiting for just arrived from Angangueo, Michoacan: The students in the schools surrounding the sanctuaries are beginning to see the first monarchs! "Los ninos gritan, 'ahi van mariposas!'," wrote teacher Senor Gilberto Salazar of Escuela Pedro Ascencio. Butterflies continue to pour down from Texas into the northern Mexican states. But what about all those monarchs in Florida--are they heading for Mexico too?
  • Monarch Migration Update: October 27, 2000
    Students surrounding the sanctuaries continued to see early-arriving monarchs last week. Meanwhile, millions upon millions of butterflies are now traveling toward the region. Can you follow their trail? They're headed for a finish line only 1.1 degrees wide. Exactly how wide is that? As the migration from Canada and the U.S. draws to a close this fall, we hope you are watching for your LAST monarch of the year.
  • FINAL Monarch Migration Update: November 3, 2000
    This was the week that waves of monarchs appeared in Angangueo. It's an a remarkable sight to see: Against this backdrop of Mexican life are the monarchs, so familiar in your own backyard, but now in an entirely different place. How wide is the finish line? Which Mexican states do they cross on their way, and do monarchs cross the Gulf of Mexico? "I think you will find that weighing the evidence is what makes the process of science so exciting, " says Dr. Calvert. Thus, the long journey to Mexico is coming to a close, but please come back when Journey North begins next February.

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