Monarch Migration Update: February 9, 2012
Please Report
Your Sightings!
Report Your Sightings
Estela Romero bundled up to take you on a photo tour of the world's largest monarch sanctuary. Walk into the oyamel forest with the eyes of a scientist. What will you see? What will you wonder? Get ready to document your discoveries and questions.

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week
Monarch butterfly sanctuary tour.
Photo: Estela Romero
Let's Go!
News: A Trip to the Sanctuary
Travel With Estela
Estela set off from Angangueo with her camera in hand:

"Come with me to visit the largest monarch sanctuary in the world, called El Rosario. The monarch season is at its peak and a trip to see the butterflies is a special treat."

As you travel with Estela, look for examples of ecotourism. How many can you find?

Dressed for the Cold
With morning temperatures only 36°F, Estela describes how she prepared for the trip.

"Since it's often cold in our town—and even colder in the mountains— I'm wearing double socks, boots, a thermic suit, trousers, cotton and woolen sweaters and, finally, a wind-breaker jacket."

How Many Monarchs?
We're waiting for the official annual estimate of monarch numbers. We'll post the news as soon as we have it. Estela made a rough count of butterfly trees while at El Rosario and the numbers seemed to be down:

"I have been told there are about 20 butterfly trees this year. Last year I was able to count a minimum of 30 trees, whose branches were bending because of the weight of the big clusters of monarchs."

Photo: Estela Romero
Travel With Estela
Monarch butterfly sanctuary tour.
Image: Journey North
The Entrance
Population Estimate: Monarch Butterfly Overwintering Region
Image: Dr. Lincoln Brower
How Many Monarchs?
Slideshow: The Monarch's Winter Sanctuary, A Scientific Tour
Walk into the monarch sanctuary with the eyes of a scientist. Watch how observations lead to questions. Use the facts and photos in this slideshow as a springboard for research and discovery.

  • Essential Questions: How does the oyamel forest meet the monarchs' needs? What monarch characteristics and behaviors help the butterflies survive?



The Monarch's Winter Sanctuary | A Scientific Tour
The Migration: Maps and Journal Page
During this unusually warm winter, look where people are already reporting monarchs! Please help us document where monarchs are now, and where milkweed is available.
Monarch Butterfly Winter Sightings Map of milkweed emergence: Spring 2011 The Monarch's Winter Sanctuary | A Scientific Tour
First Monarch
(map | animation | sightings)
First Milkweed
(map | animation | sightings)
The next monarch migration update will be posted on February 16, 2012.