Monarch Butterfly Update: February 7, 2013
Please Report
Your Sightings!
Report Your Sightings
Welcome to Journey North's 20th season! The monarchs reached their winter home in Mexico three months ago after a long fall migration. They'll begin their journey north in only six weeks. Start with the sights and sounds of a butterfly colony—and get ready for a season of discovery.

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week
Video Clip: Monarch butterfly winter colony in Mexico

Video Visit
Video: Art Howard, Artworks

News: Surviving the Winter in Mexico
From Continent to Colony
Monarchs crossed the continent to spend the winter in colonies clustered by the millions. Why? During the next 5 weeks, we'll explore the habitat and climate of the monarch's winter home, and the amazing adaptations that help the monarchs survive.

Rare Forest Habitat
Monarchs form their colonies in a forest of fir trees called "oyamel" (o-ee-ya-mel). This unique forest only grows at high elevations in a few regions of Mexico. Can you locate the oyamel forest on this map?

Sharing the Forest
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."

The Conservation Question
How can people conserve the forest for the monarchs and also meet their own needs? People from local, national, and world communities are working together on this important challenge.

Winter Colony: Monarch Butterflies in Mexico
Monarch Colony
Image: Elizabeth Howard

Vegetation map of mexico showing monarch butterfly oyamel forest habitat.
Rare Forest Habitat
Image: Dr. Lincoln Brower
Butterfly Ambassadors
Sharing the Forest
Image: Estela Romero
Journal: Capture the Wonder With Words
What words would a poet write while sitting below butterfly-filled branches? Collect sensory words and descriptive details as a springboard for creative writing.

Monarch butterfly roost in MexicoMonarch butterfly roost in Mexico

Journal Page: Writer's Quest for Details


Seeing Monarchs or Milkweed? Report Now!
Not all monarchs go to Mexico! Before spring migration begins, please help us document where monarchs are located this winter and where milkweed is available.


Seeing Monarchs?
When you see a monarch, we want to know about it.
Monarch butterfly migration map Map of milkweed emergence: Spring 2013

Map of Monarch Butterfly Sanctuaries in Mexico
Monarch Sanctuaries

(map | animation | sightings)
(map | animation | sightings)
The next update will be posted on February 14, 2013.