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Monarch Butterflies

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The Monarch's Fall Migration to Mexico is Underway! August 21, 2009


Today's Message Includes:

* Latest News: The Monarch's Fall Migration to Mexico is Underway!

* How to Follow the Migration With Journey South News

* How to Report Your Sightings & Links to Migration Maps

* Where to Report Your Sightings

* Fall Monarch Migration: A Guided Tour for Teachers

* You're Invited: A Tour to the Monarch Overwintering Sanctuaries


Latest News: The Monarch's Fall Migration to Mexico is Underway!

The first clear sign of fall monarch migration has just been reported.

Last night, an overnight roost filled with dozens of monarchs formed in

north central Minnesota. The monarchs are still resting there as I

write. They have nearly 2,000 miles to fly to their winter home in

Mexico. Here's the first-hand report:

August 20 Sartell, Minnesota (46N, -94W)

"Imagine my surprise and delight when I realized that the odd shading on

the tree was actually dozens of monarch butterflies that had landed and

were perched on one of the branches. As I ventured closer, I realized

that two of the braches of the tree were just loaded with monarchs. As I

watched, another half a dozen of them came and landed, one at a time.

What an amazing sight."


How to Follow the Migration With Journey South News


Beginning next week (August 27th), weekly FALL MIGRATION UPDATES will be

posted every Thursday until the monarchs reach their winter home in

Mexico in November.


How to Report Your Sightings & Links to Migration Maps


We hope you'll help track the monarchs' trip by reporting news about the

monarchs you see. Here are the types of observations we are collecting

this fall, and links to each migration map:

1) Migrating Monarchs


When you see migrating monarchs, tell us what you see. Important: Please

include your observation time. Tell us how many monarchs you saw per

hour (or minute).

2) Overnight Roosts


Monarchs rest at overnight roosts at the end of each migration day. If

you're lucky enough to discover a roost, please report your finding!

3) NO Monarchs


If you are watching for monarchs but not seeing any, let us know! This

information is very important. It gives us what's called "absence data."

It tells us that we do have observers in places where monarchs have not

been reported. (Without this information we wonder, are there NO

MONARCHS or simply NO OBSERVERS in such places?)

4) First Monarchs


When you see your first monarch of the season, let us know! This

information tells us where, prior to the date of this first sighting,

monarch have either been absent or have gone undetected. The signficance

of this depends upon where you are located. If you live in Canada or the

northern United States, a 'first' sighting in August or later suggests

that there have been very few monarchs breeding in your region. In the

south, first sightings could be early migrants from the north, or

locally breeding monarchs that had gone undetected.

5) OTHER Monarch Observations


If you see monarchs that are laying eggs, nectaring, or at various

stages of their life cycle, report "OTHER Monarch observations." Also,

report here if you're not sure the monarchs you see are migrating. We

review every observation posted so don't worry about selecting the

'right' category, just tell us what you see.


Where to Report Your Sightings



Fall Monarch Migration: A Guided Tour for Teachers


Are you and your students ready to embark on a real-time, scientific

journey to Mexico with monarch butterflies and other citizen scientists?

Our "Fall Monarch Migration Guided Tour" is your planning resource. Each

step in the Guide includes essential goals, lesson activities,

slideshows, reproducibles and more--everything you'll need to implement

an inquiry-based learning experience for your students. Start with

wonder, and discover the magic of monarch migration.


You're Invited: A Tour to the Monarch Overwintering Sanctuaries

The Monarch Watch of Texas, under the leadership of Dr. William Calvert

and Bonnie Chase, is offering a lifetime opportunity to see the monarch

butterflies in their winter roosting grounds in the highlands of central

Mexico. There are openings for the week of February 20th through

February 28th, 2010. The trip includes a visit to the volcano Paricutin

and the church that it enveloped, the delightful colonial town of

Patzcuaro and two exquisite resort/ haciendas. We have designed this

adventure to show you an aspect of Mexico not seen in regular tourist

excursions – Mexicans living in a rural area grappling with problems of

making a living off the land while trying to conserve the monarch

butterfly. Emphasis will be on the monarch butterflies and exploring the

natural history of the region, but the trip also will include many

cultural and culinary delights. The cost of the trip is $1,500, based on

double occupancy. International airfare is not included. Openings for

later trips may become available. For more information, please contact

Bonnie Chase at bchasemail@yahoo.com.

Copyright 2009 Journey North. All Rights Reserved. Please send all

questions, comments, and suggestions to:


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