One Month Closer to Spring Migration

February 3, 2021 by Team Journey North

Estela Romero and Ellen Sharp share news from monarch sanctuaries in Mexico. Keep reporting monarch observations in the Southeastern U.S. as part of our targeted monitoring project. And get ready for the upcoming spring migration season – news updates begin at the end of the month.

Clusters of Monarchs at Sierra Chincua Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary, Mexico. Photo by: Estela Romero

Note to our readers: We are trying something new. Moving forward, we will be sharing Estela Romero’s letters in English and Spanish. Spanish is Ms. Romero’s native language, and it is important for us to convey her voice and writing as accurately as possible. This is just one step in our goal to provide greater accessibility to multilingual resources for our Journey North community. More to come.

Letter From Estela Romero: Peak Season

Starting now until monarchs take flight for spring migration, Estela Romero will report on monarch happenings at Sierra Chincua and El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Sanctuaries. In this week’s letter, Ms. Romero compares and contrasts both the number of monarchs and visitors between the two sanctuaries. She writes, “The flow of tourism to this sanctuary [El Rosario] is, as usual, higher than Sierra Chincua and constant week after week despite the overall decrease of visitors this year … How much larger is the population of monarchs at El Rosario compared to Sierra Chincua? It’s difficult to say … The corresponding institutions will release official numbers later on.”

Read more of Estela Romero’s Letter From El Rosario and Sierra Chincua Monarch Butterfly Sanctuaries: Peak Season (English Version)

Leer más de la carta de Estela Romero desde los santuarios de la mariposa monarca de El Rosario y Sierra Chincua: La Temporada Alta (Versión en español)

Letter From Ellen Sharp: The Solace of Butterflies

On a sobering note, Ellen Sharp shares news of the pandemic hitting Cerro Pelon and the surrounding communities. But she also highlights the respite and comfort, however brief, that monarchs can provide. Dr. Sharp writes, “Thank goodness we still have the solace of butterflies. Temperatures are finally warming on the mountain, and although they have not significantly relocated their roost above El Llano, as of January 30th they have started to fly out from it every day. They fill the ravine below El Llano like a river, rushing down to nectar on the fresh blooms that fill Cerro Pelon’s foothills.”

Read more of Ellen Sharp’s Letter From Cerro Pelon Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary: The Solace of Butterflies

Monitor Overwintering Monarchs

Thank you to all who have participated in our targeted monarch butterfly monitoring project. Since December 1st, over 700 monarch observations have been submitted to Journey North. These observations will contribute to research efforts on overwintering behavior of monarch butterflies in the Southeastern U.S.

But your sustained help is needed. During the rest of February, please continue to report your monarch observations to Journey North.

Learn more about What to Report and view our Instructional Flyer.

Get Ready for Spring Migration!

Monarch spring migration is just around the corner. News updates begin at the end of the month. If you haven’t done so already, register now so you can share observations for the upcoming spring migration season.