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Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Migration Update: September 30, 1997

The migration has reached Oklahoma and Texas! According to Dr. Bill Calvert of the Texas Monarch Watch, large numbers of Monarchs--hundreds to thousands-were reported flying yesterday over a number of towns from San Angelo to Abilene to Hawley to Breckenridge to Grapevine, between Dallas and Fort Worth. Explained Calvert, "The butterflies are riding north winds and will come down to roost tonight. If you live in these areas of central Texas, you may be graced with their presence. Expect the flights to continue off and on for at least the next two weeks."

Also on September 29, Nancy McEwen of Lewisville, TX (nmcewen@juno.com ) counted approximately 30 Monarchs in her backyard and Diane McGowen (dmcgowen@brightok.net) reported in from Ardmore, Oklahoma: "Monarchs are here in south central Oklahoma. Not very big populations, yet, averaging about 8 per hour. There are reports of them clustering for the night in the western part of Ardmore, OK. We went to the Northeast part of the state for the weekend and counted 15-20 per hour, so maybe the migration will pick up here over the next few days."

Monarch Numbers Diminish in North
What's happening in the north, now that October is upon us? On the north shore of Lake Erie, at Canada's Point Pelee National Park, numbers are now declining significantly. They appear to have peaked on September 19 and 20, as shown on this chart:
Point Pelee Monarch Count
Lake Erie, Ontario


# Monarchs



















"Our highest count totals for the year occurred on the 19th and 20th. We had 1504 on the 19th and 1368 on the 20th.The vast majority of monarchs were counted between the 13th and the 20th.Numbers are probably lower than normal because we opened our monarch counts up to the public and delayed the count by 1/2 and hour.On several mornings, the monarchs were already active and crossing the lake."
Contributed for Dan Dufour, Park Naturalist
Point Pelee National Park
Leamington, Ontario
by Don Davis Donald_Davis@stubbs.woodsworth.utoronto.ca

Across the Lake Erie from Pt. Pelee, in Ohio, St. Rose School wrote to say: "Our area is on the pathway of these migrating wonders. A troop of Boy Scouts from St. Rose School was camping at Point Pelee Provincial Park, where they witnessed a great many migrating monarchs, covering the area. Later that week, reports in our Toledo Blade newspaper reported that many of the monarchs were resting on the beach at Maumee
Bay State Park, which is right across the lake from Point Pelee." (laubry@uoft02.utoledo.edu )

Monarchs are still migrating through Nebraska, according to a recent report from Ben at Fredstrom Elementary School . "My dad and I were driving on Interstate 80 near Omaha and I saw about 12 monarchs over head. They were flying south." Further north, while on the 35th floor of an apartment building attending a wedding reception, Dave Vos, grade 4 teacher in Minneapolis, spotted a monarch trying to find its way past the window and around the building--in order to continue its journey to Mexico..

Record Day at Cape May, New Jersey
Dick Walton ( dick@concord.org ) of the Monarch Migration Project reported a record-breaking day September 26, with an average of 652 monarch sighted per hour! What was the previous record? Visit the Monarch Migration Project WWW site for details.

Special Butterflies Heading for Mexico!
Monarchs have recently joined the migration, after being raised and released by:

Oxford Central School Oxford, NJ
Elizabeth R. Martin School Lancaster, PA
Betsy Hawes Taft Elementary Washingtonville, NY
The Harley School Rochester, NY
Coal Creek Elementary Louisville, CO
Elizabeth DiPierro Corinth Shawnee Mission, KS
Gaye Gallant Memorial New Gloucester, ME
The Next Monarch Migration Update Will be Posted on October 7, 1997