Monarch Butterfly
Jim Gilbert

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Monarch Butterfly Update: May 19, 1998

Today's Report Includes:

Latest Migration News and Data
Monarchs of the 1st spring generation are now appearing in full force: In the past week, 25 fresh, new monarchs have been reported from 17 states--and the 1st sightings also arrived from Canada.

Latest Migration Map
As of May 19, 1998

Sightings of this new monarch generation occurred in many southern states where monarchs were previously reported. In North Carolina for example, a rash of sightings in April (4/6, 4/7, 4/7, 4/11, 4/12, 4/15, 4/24) was followed by a pause--until this week. Students at Parkway Elementary School in Boone, NC sighted their first monarch last Friday, May 15th: "Several have been seen by other students in this class within the last 3-4 days," they added. (

Mapping the 1st Spring Generation
How far did the monarchs from Mexico go--and where are their offspring now being seen? As you place today's data on your map, you may want to distinguish between the 2 generations--perhaps with a differently shaped symbol.

Roughly speaking, you can consider sightings BEFORE May 11th as monarchs from Mexico, and those AFTER May 11th as their offspring.

Students who are interested in a precise answer to this Report Your Sightingsquestion should conduct further research: Go to the Monarch database on the WWW. Read comments from each observer. Make note of sightings of "FADED/OLD" butterflies and of "FRESH/NEW" monarchs. If the observer did not include this information, contact her by e-mail for these details.
Please Note the Condition of Your Monarch's Wings!
Only through your careful observations can we distinguish between old monarchs (which have traveled all the way from Mexico) and new monarchs (offspring of those from Mexico). Please be sure to note the condition of the butterfly's wings when you report your first monarch.

And, if you live in a region where monarchs from Mexico were already sighted, you may also report your FIRST monarch of the new spring generation---as long as you are VERY CAREFUL to note this in your comments. Please follow this example from Donoho School in Anniston, AL:

"We continue to see NEW monarch butterflies, eggs on milkweed, and caterpillars. We haven't seen a lot of butterflies together, but someone in the school reports seeing at least one just about every day."
Donoho School, Anniston, AL

When School's Out the Monarch Migration Will Continue
Although our last scheduled update is next week, we're not going away. We will continue to collect your monarch sightings daily. Every Tuesday, watch for a new migration map and data update until the monarchs have completed their journey north.
Journey North on National Public Radio's "Soundprint" Program
Here's the link to the Soundprint program featuring Journey North. It's called "Flight of the Virtual Butterfly" and you can listen to it any time with RealAudio.

Journey North
Year End Evaluation
Please share your thoughts

The Next Monarch Butterfly Migration Update Will be Posted on May 26, 1998.

Copyright 1998 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.