Monarch Butterfly
Jim Gilbert

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Monarch Butterfly

Journey North News will be posted on Fridays:
Feb. 6, 13, 20,27, Mar 5,12,19, 26,Apr. 2, 9, 16, 23,30 May 7, 14, 21,28 ...and weekly until the migration is completed!

Journey North News

ElRosario0077 Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: February 6, 2004
Welcome to Journey North's spring monarch migration season! We begin each year while the monarchs are still at the over-wintering sites, deep in central Mexico. What do you suppose the weather is like at the monarch sanctuaries, near the town of Angangueo, Mexico?
Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: February 13, 2004
It's ecotourism time at the sanctuaries!
If local people can earn money from visiting tourists, they will have a reason to protect natural habitat. How many examples of ecotourism can you find? How much does it cost to visit the sanctuaries? Read an interview with Javier and see how he feels about his job as a sanctuary guide.

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: February 20, 2004
Students traveling with Dr. Calvert in Mexico this week saw butterflies streaming off the mountains in search of water and nectar. Why do the monarch butterfly colonies move during the season? Back in mid-winter, how much would a branch loaded with 15,000 butterflies have weighed? Two dispatches from monarch conservationist Jordi Honey-Roses provide compelling primary source information for students.

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: February 27, 2004
Dr. Calvert phoned home from Mexico this week. "The most intense part of the dry season is beginning now," he said. "The forest is literally drying out." What are arroyos and why are they so important to monarchs at this time of year? Seasons in the tropics are either wet or dry. Compare your weather in the temperate zone to that in the monarch's tropical winter refuge.

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: March 5, 2004
The monarchs are still at their winter refuge deep in central Mexico. But mass mating has begun, signifying the last stage of the long, over-wintering season. Are recent sightings in Texas the first migrants of the season? Learn Spanish monarch words from Noemi and her dad. Try the math challenge from Dr. Calvert. How many monarchs remain at the El Rosario sanctuary?

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: March 12, 2004
It's common to find the forest floor of a monarch sanctuary covered with shivering butterflies. Why do they spend so much energy trying to get off of the ground? A surprise this week at Chincua--6-8 times more butterflies than seen before. Not so surprising, as these photos of colony camouflage show. As for the migration, what do you make of the sightings in Tallahassee, FL? Did those monarchs come from Mexico?

Dr. Lincoln Brower
Sweet Briar College 

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: March 19, 2004
Here come the monarchs! “The butterfly colonies are definitely vacating,” reports Dr. Calvert from Mexico. He witnessed the process of breakup yesterday, as butterflies streamed down a canyon. During the past week, the butterflies have clearly begun to move, so when do you think they'll appear in Texas?

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: March 26, 2004
There's no sign yet of the first big wave in Texas. Are the butterflies late? At this time last year, there had been 51 sightings from Texas where only 8 have been reported in March this spring.
How are the data collected? Is this a valid experiement? What’s it like to visit the monarch’s winter refuge with a famous scientist? Alex White shares his story.

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: April 2, 2004
At last, the migration advanced across Texas during the past week and a single monarch was spotted in Arkansas. What two factors does Dr. Calvert pose to explain the low numbers? How late are the butterflies? Calculate the average arrival date in Arkansas. Read the migration news we're sending back to Mexico and ¡practique su español!

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: April 9, 2004
The migration hasn't moved northward yet from Texas into Oklahoma but it did move eastward. Two new states reported first monarchs--Mississippi and...North Carolina! Do you think the NC sightings are valid? What questions do they raise? Storyteller and author Maraleen Manos-Jones shares an original story this week. Can you think of an example from nature that works as a metaphor for your own life?

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: April 14, 2004
Only 8 sightings were reported during the last week, the lowest in a decade of tracking monarch migration. For those counting states and provinces where monarchs have arrived, you can add two new states to your list, thanks to two little butterflies in Tennessee and Missouri.

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: April 23, 2004
Strong south winds blew butterflies and songbirds northward during the past week. Scattered sightings have now been reported as far north as Pennsylvania, New York and possibly Maine! Most monarchs that over-wintered in Mexico are dead by the end of April. Can you recognize a fresh, new butterfly? Try today's quiz! In honor of Earth Day, take the Ecological Footprint quiz and measure your impact on the planet.

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: April 30, 2004
In a highly unusual pattern, monarchs have advanced way up the East Coast, far outpacing progress in the Midwest. During the breeding season, monarchs live for only 2-6 weeks. How long has this butterfly, caught this week in Arkansas, been alive? Fresh new butterflies are now being seen along with the old. These young butterflies are the children of those that over-wintered in Mexico.

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: May 7, 2004
Another slow week of migration, but watch for sightings to jump next week as the new generation of monarchs spreads northward. Compare and contrast monarchs and hummingbirds, both are flower-powered migrants crossing eastern North America right now. Many songbirds migrate at night--do monarchs?

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: May 14, 2004
The first Monarchs have appeared in Wisconsin and Iowa--which Canadian province will be the first to report? Do monarchs migrate at night, as some songbirds do? “You ask hard questions!” protested Dr. Calvert, before sharing his thoughts. Bad news from Mexico this week, where "catastrophic" levels of illegal logging were reported.

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: May 21, 2004
The first monarchs have crossed into Canada! The leading edge of the migration is now approaching latitude 45 N. That’s exactly half way to the North Pole! How far north do you think the monarchs will travel? Where do you think they will stop and why?

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: May 28, 2004
Spring was on hold this week in many northern tier U.S. states and in southern Canada. As the cool, damp weather moves out we’re watching for a flurry of monarchs to move in. With the arrival of monarch butterflies, the biodiversity of five states and one province has increased since last week. Can you find which state and province? Scientist and conservationist say children’s opinions about illegal logging matter-and North Carolina students are involved.

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: June 4, 2004
The leading edge of the migration has now surpassed latitude 47 N in northern Minnesota, and monarchs have spread up the East Coast into Maine. Today's 47 new sightings are a clear indication that monarchs are now much more abundant, with the 1st and probably 2nd spring generations on the wing.

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: June 11, 2004
The leading edge of the migration has now reached 49 N on the North Dakota/Manitoba border. The migration is almost complete. We will provide these brief migration summaries for the next two weeks, until June 25th.

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: June 18, 2004
Monarchs have finally been reported from Manitoba and Quebec! Of interest too are "first sightings" from more southerly places, like Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. Monarchs have presumably been so few in number this spring that it's taken longer for people to see one.

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: June 25, 2004
Thank you for helping to track the migration from Mexico! Brief migration summaries will be provided until July 2nd.

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