Monarch Butterflies Sighted in the Bahamas
ere Did They Come From?

In October 2005, two separate people reported monarch sightings from the Bahamas. The monarchs were seen on two different islands, over 100 miles apart. Both observers said they noticed the monarchs suddenly. Each person reported the butterflies independently, too.

What Do You Think?
Where do you think the monarchs that were sighted in the Bahamas came from? Give evidence to support your interpreation.

Some Facts to Consider:

  • A tagged monarch was once recovered in Cuba.
  • "The Bahamas do have a resident population of their own," said Dr. Bill Calvert. "The yearly cycles have been studied and published."

Here are the observers' comments:

10/31/05 Eleuthera, Bahamas (25.17 N, -76.23 W)
I live on Eleuthera in the Bahamas and in the wintertime we have tons of monarch all around our yard, but in the summertime you can't find a single one. I'm almost positive they cross the Gulf Stream every year to get to the Bahamas. I saw the first three monarchs for the winter yesterday (October 31st).

10/24/05 Exuma, Bahamas (23.53 N, -75.83 W)
I have sighted several Monarch Butterflies. This is the first time I have seen them on our island. We are located on Exuma, Bahamas. I first saw the monarchs October 24th thru the 31st and have been sighting them daily feeding from flower to flower. They seemed quite normal. Our yard has a lot of different flowers and palms. The previous week (Oct. 17th - Oct. 21st) we had high winds and the butterflies appeared after that. I have seen probably 12 to 14 just in my yard. I lived in Michigan for many years before moving to Bahamas, so I'm quite familiar with the Monarchs. We have had a home here in Exuma for 18 years and this is the first sighting. This time of year I see many migrating birds and spotted 4 Sandhill Cranes on a remote island yesterday (Oct. 31st) while diving for lobster. I have not seen milkweed on this island at all but I will look more closely for it in the future.