Atlantic Coast Recoveries
Tagging Data Reveal Chances of Making it to Mexico

True Stories About Tagged Monarchs

Two Flyways
The migration flyways map show monarchs use two main flyways in eastern North America. Monarchs traveling to Mexico from the eastern flyway have a longer distance to travel. Does this mean eastern monarchs have reduced chances of making it to Mexico?

Tagging Data Reveal Chances
Every fall thousands of people tag butterflies for the Monarch Watch program. Tagging data let us compare the likelihood of reaching Mexico from different regions.

Overall, roughly 1 in 100 monarchs tagged in eastern North America is recovered in Mexico. Recovery rates vary depending upon where the butterflies were tagged. As shown on the tagging recovery rates graphic, monarchs tagged on the eastern coasts have an extremely low recovery rate.

Challenges for Eastern Flyway Monarchs
Three factors make migration from the eastern flyway more difficult than from the central flyway:

  1. Longer distances
  2. Westerly winds
  3. Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico
Monarch Butterfly Migration Flyways Map
Two Migration Flyways


Recovery Rates of Tagged Monarch Butterflies
Recovery Rates