Monarch Migration Update: February 2, 2012
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Your Sightings!
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Welcome to Journey North's 19th season! The monarchs reached Mexico three months ago, after a long fall migration. They'll begin their journey north in only six weeks. Students in the region have been learning about the special forest they share with the monarchs. Mexico's habitat is ideal for monarch winter survival. What do this week's images reveal?

This Week's Update Includes:


Image of the Week
Monarch Butterfly Forest
Photo: Estela Romero
The Butterfly Forest
News: Global Connections Build Local Pride
Estela Romero just finished delivering 1,700 symbolic butterflies to children who live beside the monarch sanctuaries in Mexico. Students have been learning about the special forest they share with the monarchs. Estela showed the children this map of Mexico's forests and explained its significance.

"The students were amazed to realize how rare our oyamel forest actually is! They were proud to learn that our part of the world is unique and important," Estela said. "Now they see the forest that surrounds us with new eyes, and they see themselves as part of an international community."

Monarch butterflies form their winter colonies in oyamel fir trees. This winter, Estela helped each school plant their own oyamel tree as a symbol of Mexico's role in protecting the monarch's winter habitat.

Who Received Your Ambassador Butterfly?
Watch for an announcement soon! We're about to open a search engine so you can find your butterfly and see a picture of the student who received it.

Butterfly Ambassadors
Photo: Estela Romero
Butterfly Ambassadors
Vegetation map of mexico showing monarch butterfly oyamel forest habitat.
Image: Dr. Lincoln Brower
Rare Forest Habitat
Explore Winter Habitat: Photo Gallery

The butterfly sanctuaries in Mexico meet the monarchs' needs for survival. Use the photo gallery to start asking questions. Then pose hypotheses in your journal.

Essential Question
What conditions make the monarch's overwintering habitat in Mexico ideal for monarch survival?
Photo Gallery: Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Mexico
Photo Gallery
The Migration: Maps and Journal Page
Temperatures have been unusually warm this winter, and people are reporting monarchs wintering from California to the Carolinas. Please help us document where monarchs are now, and where milkweed is available.
Monarch Butterfly Winter Sightings Map of milkweed emergence: Spring 2011 Worksheet: Journal Page
First Monarch
(map | animation | sightings)
First Milkweed
(map | animation | sightings)
The next monarch migration update will be posted on February 9, 2012.