Monarch Migration News: April 21, 2016
By Elizabeth Howard

With milkweed paving the way, the leading edge of the migration is now 1,300 miles from the overwintering region in Mexico.

Milkweed and Monarch Butterfly Migration

Milkweed is ready in Bridgeton, MO. The state's first monarch was spotted this week 250 miles away.

News: Following Milkweed
The migration entered 4 new states this week, and the the northernmost monarch was reported at latitude 37°N in Missouri.

The monarchs are lagging behind their milkweed this spring. Plants are emerging 500 miles north of the migration's leading edge, at latitude 45°N in Minnesota. Typically the two are more synchronous, with the migration trailing within 200 miles of the milkweed. Watch the map to compare the timing of migration and the availability of this vital resource.

Finding Milkweed
Monarchs travel hundreds of miles across the landscape to find the milkweed they need for egg-laying. It may be harder for monarchs to find milkweed as their habitat shrinks and the gaps between patches become larger.

Scientists are exploring how habitat fragmentation could affect reproductive success. If a female has to fly too far, she will require more time to lay her eggs and more nectar to fuel her flight, thereby reducing her fecundity.

Restoring Milkweed Habitat
"Every monarch's story begins on milkweed; its shortage is why we have a population decline," says Dr. Karen Oberhauser.

High quality habitat is critical for monarchs now. The old generation is dying, and a new generation must grow and survive.

Explore the Habitat Restoration Map to see how people are helping with monarch recovery — then add your habitat project to the map.

Milkweed and Migration Map
Milkweed & Migration

Monarch Butterfly Finding Milkweed and Laying Eggs
Finding Milkweed
Nancy Garden
Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar Growing
Restoring Habitat
Report Your Sightings
Monarch butterfly migration map Map of milkweed emergence: Spring 2016 Monarch butterfly migration map
First Adult
report | map | list
report | map | list
Monarch butterfly migration map Monarch butterfly migration map

After first sightings, continue to report all monarchs — adults, eggs, and larvae.

Monarch butterfly migration map

First Egg
report | map | list
First Larva
report | map | list

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Next Update April 28, 2016