Closer to Overwintering Grounds

October 21, 2020 by Team Journey North

More reports of peak activity and roosts have come in from Mexico as monarchs approach their overwintering grounds. Out west, monarchs are reaching the last leg of their journey as they enter California and move through Arizona.

Over 700 monarchs roosting in Amistad National Recreation Area. Photo: Elena (Del Rio, TX; 10/14/2020)

Eastern Monarch Population

Numbers Increasing in Mexico

More reports of peak activity and roosts have come in from Mexico as monarchs approach their overwintering grounds in the States of Michoacán and Mexico.

Mayra in Garcia, NLE: “Me fue imposible contarlas hay muchos racimos y siguen llegando más.” [Translation: “It was impossible for me to count them as there are many bunches and more continue to arrive.”] (10/16/2020)

Cipriano Enriques in Castanos, Coahuila de Zaragoza: “Cipriano Enriques, propietario del Rancho San Patricio, ubicado dentro de la Reserva Natural Estatal La Muralla, reporta Cientos de Monarcas entrando a la Muralla.” [Translation: “Cipriano Enriques, owner of Rancho San Patricio, located within the La Muralla Nature Reserve, reports hundreds of monarchs entering La Muralla.”] (10/16/2020)

Cesar Carreon in Saltillo, Coahuila de Zaragoza: “Algun par de cientos de mariposas, posadas en racimos sobre un Pinus halepensis, en el parquecito Miravalle en Saltillo.” [Translation: “A couple of hundred butterflies, roosting in clusters on a Pinus halepensis, in the Miravalle park in Saltillo.”] (10/17/2020) 

Estela Romero’s First Report of the Season: Awaiting Arrivals at the Sanctuaries

Estela Romero’s first report of the season is here! Preparations are underway at El Rosario and Sierra Chincua Sanctuaries as communities and staff await the return of monarchs. Monarchs typically begin to arrive at the sanctuaries in early November.

Read Estela Romero’s first report of the season.

Special Contribution From Amistad National Recreation Area

Activity remains high in Texas, and particularly so at Amistad National Recreation Area (AMIS) near Del Rio in Val Verde County, Texas. Over the past few weeks, park personnel – AMIS is managed by the National Park Service – have submitted numerous reports of monarch roosts and peak migration activity to Journey North. This week, we are excited to share an article written by the Natural Resources Department at AMIS that discusses the ecology of the park, its importance for monarch migration and conservation, and how Journey North helps both staff and visitors track monarchs. The partnership between Journey North and AMIS is a great example of how collective effort and collaboration can further monarch conservation. 

Read the article by Natural Resources Department personnel at Amistad National Recreation Area.

Western Monarch Population

It’s been an eventful week for monarch migration out west. As Gail Morris writes, “This week the sunny and warm days but chilly nights urged monarchs to hurry to reach the safety of their overwintering groves! As they near the end of their journey, monarchs have been sighted in Arizona and California moving towards the California coast or south through Arizona towards Mexico.”

Sandra in Woodland, CA: “Nectaring on a Tithonia (Mexican sunflower) flower. Monarch was in the area 6+ hours.” (10/15/2020)

Della in Superior, AZ: “I saw two adults nectaring on the ageratum. Both in good condition.” (10/16/2020)

Read more of Gail Morris’ Western Monarch Fall Report #8…

Keep reporting to Journey North

Only a few more weeks remain for tracking the fall migration of monarchs. If you’re still observing monarch activity, keep reporting! And remember to keep your eyes peeled for monarchs a few weeks after your last sighting – stragglers may yet come through!