Monarch Butterfly News: February 27, 2014
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As the end of the overwintering season rapidly approaches, important changes are taking place. Mating has begun and fat reserves are running low. Image of the Week
Monarch ButterfliesSurviving Winter
Estela Romero
News: Monarchs in Late February
With only a few weeks left in Mexico, the monarchs still face survival challenges as their habitat and physiology change.

Mating Begins
The first reports of mated pairs were noted this week. Mating will increase in earnest leading up to departure in March. Once in reproductive condition, a monarch's biological clock is ticking. With energy directed toward reproduction, the butterflies won't live much longer. They'll race northward to produce the next generation.

Lipids Are Low
The monarchs' energy reserves should be about 70% depleted by now, as the lipid graph shows. By March, the typical monarch may have only 60 mg of the 140 mg it had when it arrived in November.

Habitat Connection
Running out of fuel is a common cause of mortality in Mexico. In order to survive the winter, monarchs must obtain energy from milkweed and flowers before they reach Mexico. The cool temperatures of their Mexican forest allows them to conserve energy. The next time you see milkweed and flowers in your backyard, think about how habitat on the northern breeding grounds is connected to monarch winter survival in Mexico.

Monarch Butterflies
Mating Begins
Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary | Aerial View
Lipids Are Low
Monarch Butterflies
Unusually Low Clusters
Letter from Estela: Collecting Monarch Tags
This week, Estela joined up with volunteers from Monarch Watch who had come to collect tags.

Letter from Estela

Ask the Expert: Now Open
What do you wonder about monarchs? Listen to the recent radio interview with Dr. Oberhauser to help you brainstorm a list of questions.

Temperatures Rising in Monarch Butterfly Winter Sanctuary RegionDr. Karen Oberhauser

Monarch Conservation: How You Can Help
How you can help monarch butterflies
How You Can Help How You Can Help Monarchs | ResourcesResources
Maps: Report Your Sightings
Monarch butterfly migration map Monarch butterfly migration map Map of milkweed emergence: Spring 2014
What to Report First Adult
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report | map | list
Monarch butterfly migration map Monarch butterfly migration map Monarch butterfly migration map
First Egg
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First Larvae
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Other Observations
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Next Update March 6, 2014