Monarch Migration News: March 5, 2015
By Elizabeth Howard
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Activity is reaching fever pitch. Within the month monarchs will vacate their winter haunt and begin the recolonization of North America.

Monarch Butterflies
Don Davis      March 2006

News: Getting Ready to Go
It's peak tourist season. Butterfly behavior is at its most spectacular. In the monarch sanctuaries you might see a blizzard of butterflies — flapping, gliding, mating, drinking, and bursting from their clusters.

Cloud Effect
Basking butterflies explode into the air when a cloud obscures the sun. Dr. Tom Emmell witnessed the cloud effect:

"The monarchs would come out of the trees each time that cumulus clouds covered the sun. They reached almost unbelievably dense numbers, flying out over the llanos. The trees were nearly emptied at such times. Literally every cubic foot of air held at least one monarch." El Rosario Sanctuary, Feb. 21, 2015

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

Great ready! Plant nectar-rich flowers. Hungry monarch butterflies will soon be heading your way.

Monarch Butterflies
Cloud Effect
Dr. Lincoln Brower

Monarch Butterflies
Falling Lipids
Conservation News

Monarch Rearing and Endangered Status
In response to interest and concern, the wording about numbers of monarchs that individuals can rear and release has been revised from 10 wild caterpillars to 100.

How you can help monarch butterflies
Maps: Report Your Sightings
Monarch butterfly migration map Monarch butterfly migration map Map of milkweed emergence: Spring 2015
What to Report First Adult
report | map | list
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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Journal and Activities
Next Update March 12, 2015