Monarch Migration News: October 23, 2014
By Elizabeth Howard
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After funneling across Texas for over two weeks, the monarchs are entering northern Mexico now and traveling the final 500 miles of their journey. Large concentrations are raising hopes for a population rebound.

Monarch Butterfly
Image: Elaine Ward

News: Crossing into Mexico
From her home just 200 yards from the US/Mexico border, Carol Cullar watched on Monday as monarchs traveled toward the invisible line that separates two countries:

"Timed-watch from the front of the house with eyes to the north. Counted 56 monarchs in 30 minutes from 3:00 to 3:30." Eagle Pass, Texas

Across the border in Cuatrociénegas, Coahuila, Mexico's first roost of the season was reported on Friday, courtesy of the migration tracking project, Correo Real:

"Hoy por la tarde observé cerca de 30 mariposas perchadas en un árbol, en el jardín de mi escuela." Cuatrociénegas, Coahuila

Texas Peak and Pathway
Over the past 16 days, peak migration has moved 400 miles across Texas in discreet pulses associated with weather systems. Monarchs traveled quickly with north winds — or on sunny, calm days — and were stalled by south winds or rain.

"Although the 'peak' of the migration was last Saturday—when there were thousands flying overhead—I'm still seeing many monarchs daily. There are 250-300 in my yard today."
Glenn Heights, Texas October 17, 2014

The migration map shows a distinct pathway across Texas, from northeast to soutwest. Pay attention to longitude line 100° West, directly above the overwintering sites in Mexico. Monarchs have flown across the eastern half of the continent toward this longitude, and now they will drop southward into Mexico.

Roost Count
More roosts and larger concentrations are raising hopes for a population rebound from the record lows of the past 2 years. Scientists will measure the population in December; results are typically available in March.

Monarch Butterfly migration in Texas
Peak Migration in Texas
Silvia Smith
Monarch Butterfly Nectaring on Frostweek
Courtesy of Mike Quinn
Nearly 1,000 Monarchs During Peak Migration in Texas
Nearly 1,000
Theresa Bayoud
Graph: Monarch Butterfly Overnight RoostsGraph: Monarch Butterfly Overnight Roosts
Roost Count
Letter from Estela: Watching and Waiting in Angangueo
Meet the children who will announce the monarchs' arrival at the overwintering region.

"We will keep alert to give you the great news when monarchs arrive to overwinter with us this season!"

Monarch Butterfly
Spotlight: Conservation News
Organizations across North America are joining forces for monarch conservation as part of the Monarch Joint Venture. Here's your source for conservation news.

Monarch Butterfly and Flowering Milkweed
Maps: Report Your Sightings

What to Report to Track Fall Migration

Monarch Butterfly: Adult Sighted Monarch Butterfly: Egg or Larva Sighted
What to Report Adult Butterflies
map | list
Eggs and Larvae
map | list
Monarch Butterfly Migration Map: Fall Roosts, Fall 2014 Monarch Butterfly Migration Map: Peak Migration Fall 2014 How You Can Help
Fall Roosts
map | list | archives
Peak Migration
map | list
Journal and Activities
  • Journal: How will this year's population compare?
Next Update October 30, 2014