One Month Closer to Spring Migration
February is here. Estela Romero and Gail Morris provide updates on monarchs in Mexico and California. Bob McClennen looks back at an eventful fall migration season at Cape May Observatory. And if you are seeing winter monarchs, report your observations to Journey North.
Letter from Estela Romero: Many Visitors at the Sanctuaries
It’s a busy time of year at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve as more visitors arrive to see monarchs. Estela Romero writes, “Despite the travel restrictions across the world, people are still visiting the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve to view the extraordinary phenomenon of overwintering monarchs in Central Mexico … hundreds of tourists arrive to our sanctuaries to see the peak of the monarch overwintering season, especially on the weekends.”
Letter from Gail Morris: Western Monarch Winter 2021–22 Report #5
In the Western U.S., monarch sightings remain steady and warmer temperatures are making monarchs more active. Gail Morris writes, “Monarch reports this week reveal larger numbers of monarchs rather than only singletons of earlier years. Southern California sightings include 50 and even 100 monarchs flying in nearby trees and nectaring on flowers. Warmer temperatures are making monarchs more active as well creating “waterfalls of monarchs” further north in Pacific Grove!”
Xerces Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count
Results from Xerces Society’s 2021 Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count are in: The final tally of 247,237 monarchs observed across the West is an over 100-fold increase from the previous year’s total of less than 2,000 monarchs and the highest total since 2016. While this is encouraging news and worth celebrating, the population remains far below its historical size. There is still much work to be done.
Summary of Fall Monarch Migration at Cape May
Situated along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, the New Jersey Audubon Cape May Bird Observatory provides an ideal location for bird and butterfly watching, especially during fall and spring migration. Bob McClennen, Cape May Monarch Monitoring Project volunteer, provides a summary of this past fall migration season at Cape May.
Monitor Overwintering Monarchs in Southeastern U.S.
Thank you to all who have participated in our targeted monarch butterfly monitoring project. Since November 1, almost 5,000 monarch observations have been submitted to Journey North. These observations will contribute to research efforts on overwintering behavior of monarch butterflies in the the Southeastern U.S.
But your sustained help is needed. If you live in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida as well as Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, during the rest of winter, please continue to report your monarch observations to Journey North.