Monarch Migration Update: May 2, 2013
Please Report
Your Sightings!
Report Your Sightings
Early May is a time of transition. People in the north await the arrival of the new generation. Observers in the south are seeing the last of the monarchs from Mexico.

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week
Monarch butterfly in Texas
Hanging On...
Photo: Chuck Patterson
News: Waiting and Wondering
The quiet interlude between generations that we're experiencing now is not unusual. It's typical in early May for few people to report first sightings. We're waiting for a surge in sightings as the new generation advances into the north.

What do current conditions mean for the monarch population? This spring shows a striking difference in the timing and distribution of monarchs. (See maps.) Two significant factors are involved:

  • The smallest winter population ever recorded
  • An unusally cool spring in the mid-continent

A Scientist's Perspective
Dr. Chip Taylor of Monarch Watch is monitoring the migration closely. He shares his "Three Bears Theory" to explain the challenges monarchs are facing:

"Sometimes it's too hot (as in the spring and later the summer of 2012), sometimes too cold (this spring) and sometimes it's just right. Both of the last two starts to the monarch season represent the hot-cold extremes over the last 21 seasons." More...

Monarch butterfly in Florida
Compare Springs
Monarch butterfly in Florida
A First in Florida
Image: Meret Wilson
Chip Taylor of Monarch Watch
Dr. Chip Taylor
Spotlight: Citizen Scientists in Action
As a new generation of monarchs makes its way into the world, citizen scientists are making discoveries and inspiring others. Share your story.

Students at St. Gilbert School Students in Kilpatrick Garden
St. Gilbert School
Kilpatrick Elementary
The Migration: Maps and Journal
  • Please report your monarch and milkweed sightings.
Monarch butterfly migration map Map of milkweed emergence: Spring 2013 Journal Page
(map | animation | sightings)
(map | animation | sightings)
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Next update May 9, 2013