Movement in Mexico

February 24, 2021 by Team Journey North

Is spring migration underway? Estela Romero and Ellen Sharp provide updates from monarch sanctuaries in Mexico.

El Llano colony at Cerro Pelon Sanctuary, Mexico. Photo by: Pato Moreno

Letter From Estela Romero: The Overwintering Season is Winding Down

Reporting from El Rosario and Sierra Chincua sanctuaries, Estela Romero discusses dry conditions and noticeable movement of the colony at El Rosario. She writes, “Temperatures were warm all last week and over the weekend. While it was not too hot, the vegetation does not look as lively and fresh as it should be … Monarchs have made a short ‘jump’ – around 300 meters – downhill and are clearly heading north toward Angangueo.”

Read more of Estela Romero’s Letter: The Overwintering Season is Winding Down (English Version)

Leer más de la carta de Estela Romero: La Temporada Podría Estar en los Inicios de su Declive (Versión en español)

Letter From Ellen Sharp: Remigrating or Shifting Sanctuaries?

Similar to El Rosario and Sierra Chincua, Ellen Sharp also highlights monarch movement at Cerro Pelon Sanctuary. But she makes an important point about the difficulty of understanding the movement and behavior of migrating monarchs. She writes, “ I have a secret hope that maybe, just maybe the butterflies haven’t really started remigrating yet, even though there are obviously fewer of them on our part of Cerro Pelon. Perhaps they’ve merely shifted to another sanctuary. We’ve seen it happen before … these shifts across the season are not studied.”

Read more of Ellen Sharp’s Letter: Remigrating or Shifting Sanctuaries?

Targeted Monitoring Project 

Thank you to all who have participated in our targeted Southeastern U.S. monarch monitoring project. It is time to transition from this project as migrating monarchs will arrive soon.

Roy in Albany, GA: “This is my sixth report since 12/11/20 as part of an ongoing survey at this location. Monarchs have been using the mustard blooms at this location as a (the only?) nectar source.” (02/21/2021)

The recent cold spell that gripped much of North America could have consequences for overwintering monarchs in the Southeastern U.S. During the rest of February, please report any monarch activity to Journey North. Your observations will contribute to research efforts on overwintering behavior and how monarch butterflies respond to extreme weather events.

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