Monarch Migration Update: September 20, 2000
Today's Report Includes:
Highlights Along the Migration Trail
09/16/00 Kittery, ME (43.05 N, -70.44 W)
Why So Few Monarchs?
The most noteworthy news during the last week, however, were continued reports that monarchs seem very scarce there this year. From several Great Lakes States and the province of Ontario, all the way to the Atlantic Coast came comments like these:
09/18/00 Dummerston, VT (43.04 N, -72.53 W)
Monarch sightings have been very rare this summer. I saw one lone monarch today and that's about the second or third one this month." (firstname.lastname@example.org)
09/16/00 Yonkers NY (40.95 N, -73.88 W)
"On September 15, 16 and 17, monarchs were observed migrating south along the Hudson River flyway in Lenoir Nature Preserve in Yonkers, NY. The totals for each day were less than 10 monarchs a day, compared to totals of 120 to 150 on the same days the year before." (email@example.com)
9/18/00 Toledo, OH (41.39 N, -83.33 W)
"Our migration is the poorest I've ever seen in all the years I've been tagging. I'm out most every day when it's not raining and I should have tagged 1000-2000 by now but, alas, I just passed the 100 mark yesterday." Doris Stifel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A Closer Look: Analyzing Fall Migration Data from Cape May (1992-2000 )
Mr. Walton has offered to share their data with you every week this fall, so you can monitor the numbers of monarchs moving through one location, and draw your own conclusions. What do you think so far?
Strong Migration Continues Through Midwest
Meanwhile, migration through the Midwest continues. The leading edge now seems to be in entering into Kansas and Oklahoma:
How Many Monarchs in the Alfalfa Field? Discussion of Challenge Question #3
Challenge Question #3 asked, "How many monarchs do you estimate were nectaring in this single 40 acre alfalfa field?"
Mrs. Kloewer's students in Nebraska were busy last week (all but the football players, they say!) Here's how the math wizards in the 4th Period Science Class handled this question:
"We think there are 108, 900 butterflies in the 40 acre alfalfa field. We figured there were 4 butterflies every 64 sq. feet. An acre is 43,560 sq ft. (We got that from "Ask Jeeves.") Then we multiplied that by the 40 acres and got 1,742, 400 sq ft in the field. Next we divided by 64 to get the "butterfly units" and got 27, 225 butterfly units. We took that times the 4 butterflies every 64 sq. ft (the butterfly unit) and got 108, 900 butterflies. How did we do?"
You did so well! However, one small step caused you to be off by 81,675 butterflies! Rather than 4 butterflies every 64 square feet, as you assumed, there was actually only one butterfly. Thus, the total number of butterflies in the alfalfa field is 27, 225 butterflies. (And you can see that number in your discussion above!)
Migration is Not for Babies
Every now and then, we receive migration reports from observers who say they have sighted baby monarchs migrating. These observations are sent from people who are new to Journey North, and who are just beginning to learn about monarch biology. Their comments bring a challenging question to mind:
Reminder: EARLY Symbolic Migration Deadline--October 2nd
Only 12 more butterfly-making days before the deadline. Don't be late! Butterflies received after the postmarked deadline cannot migrate!
How to Make an Ambassador Butterfly
Answer: "Yes, please do! We've watched their reactions when receiving symbolic butterflies, and the children in Mexico love to see pictures of their new friends. Wallet-sized school photos make great faces for butterflies."
How to Respond to Today's Monarch Challenge Questions:
IMPORTANT: Please answer ONLY ONE question in each e-mail message!
1. Address an e-mail message to: email@example.com
2. In the Subject Line of each message write: Challenge Question #4 (or #5, or #6)
3. In the body of the message, answer ONE of the questions above.
The Next Monarch Migration Update Will Be Posted on September 27, 2000.
Copyright 2000 Journey North. All Rights Reserved. Please send all questions, comments, and suggestions to our feedback form