Monarch Migration Continues!
Other Journey North migrations have come to an end, but we'll continue to
track the monarchs until they have expanded across their entire breeding
range. Weekly updates with migration maps and data will be provided every
Friday until the end of June.
Your Help: Please Report Your Sightings
It's an important year to document the migration, so please don't go away.
Even if monarchs have already been reported from your state or province,
we want to know when YOU see YOUR first monarch.
We can't track the migration without your help!
That Help Monarchs Survive
Does This Year's Migration Compare?
Here are migration maps from the previous four years. Notice
how the pattern and extent of this spring's migration compares
to those in previous years. In which year had the migration
expanded the farthest by mid-May? In which year was the migration
most similar to this year’s migration? Look back to this
winter's low population estimate from Mexico, and the factors
scientists said affect monarch survival. (See our February
25, 2005 update.) List some conditions that could help monarch
numbers increase this spring and summer.
for Survival: How Did the Monarch Escape
from the Lizard?
Survival is a day by day, moment by moment effort, as this amazing
picture and story show. One afternoon in April, Mary Ramsower of
Spring, Texas saw a beautiful monarch in her backyard garden and
wanted to take its picture.
"I noticed a lizard and assumed it wouldn't go after the butterfly,
being that they aren't palatable. Well, I snapped the photo and
realized I had missed the monarch. He'd taken off just before the
camera snapped. Then I wondered why. I put the picture on the computer
and got my answer..."
did the monarch escape with his life, and avoid becoming lunch for
the lizard? What adaptations must a monarch have to avoid predators
like lizards, for example?
take time to look closely:
What do you know about monarch adaptations when you look at
do you assume?
the lizard too. What adaptations does a lizard have to help
it survive? What do the lizard's adaptations mean to the monarch?
do some research:
*Adaptation: An "adaptation" is a physical or behavioral
feature an organism has that evolved in response to pressures for
survival. How a species looks, moves, obtains food, reproduces,
and responds to danger are examples of adaptations.
After your observations and research, list the monarch adaptations
you discovered today on this chart. Next, take time to reflect upon all
that you've learned about adult monarch butterflies this year. What adaptations--physical
and behavioral--can you add to this chart?
Challenge for Older Students: How Quickly Did the Monarch Flee?
When flying to escape a predator, a monarch can flap its wings about 12
times per second. Here is a photo gallery of frames from a slow motion video.
The 39 frames show 1/2 second of "powered" (flapping) flight.
The butterfly is at rest in the first frame. Which frame best matches the
position of the monarch that's escaping from the lizard? Estimate how many
seconds after take-off that photo was taken.
Evaluation: Please Share Your Thoughts!
Please take a few minutes to share your suggestions and comments in our
Year-End Evaluation. The information readers provide is critical for planning
new initiatives and for improving Journey North. We'd appreciate your help.
The Next Monarch Migration Update Will Be Posted on May 20, 2005
2005 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.
Please send all questions, comments, and suggestions to our