Monarch Migration Update: September 27, 2000
Today's Report Includes:
Highlights Along the Migration Trail
Bienvenidas a Mexico!
Important Note: We must remove Spanish characters from the text because the characters do not come through properly
over the Internet. Therefore, some of the words are NOT spelled correctly.
Cold Fronts Bring Monarchs Into Texas
And 10 days earlier than normal, according to Dr. Bill Calvert. Here are comments from the migration trail:
Drought and Monarch Migration in Texas
Migration Picks Up Pace in the East
During the past week, observers from the U.S. East Coast states finally sent the news we've been waiting to hear:
9/25/00 Tyngsboro, MA (42.54 N, -83.28 W)
"We saw 150 Monarchs resting on the bark of a tree. It was truly an amazing sight! They were obviously preparing for the big journey South." Lakeview Elementary School (firstname.lastname@example.org)
09/26/00 Assateague Island, Virginia (37.56 N, -75.18 W)
"At last! Monarchs finally began migrating through this morning -in the rain!" reports Denise Gibbs from Virginia's Chincoteague Monarch Monitoring Project. "Most are migrating right over the ridge of the primary dune and throughout the interdune area. An average of today's site counts and road surveys thus far yielded between 60-70 Monarchs per hour." Denise Gibbs, Chincoteague Monarch Monitoring Project
Monarch biologist Dr. Lincoln Brower wrote from Virginia last week:
09/20/00 Sweet Briar, VA (37.56 N, -79.05 W)
"Migrant monarchs finally have arrived in Central Virginia. Both in my home garden and at Sweet Briar College, there is the first evidence of fresh migrants on the move." Lincoln Brower (email@example.com)
On the same day students at nearby Peabody School, in Washington, D.C. spotted monarchs in their butterfly garden.
Weekly Report from Cape May, NJ
For those of you graphing the weekly migration count at Cape May:
Monarchs Win the Olympics, But Other Butterflies Migrate Too
The gold medal for butterfly migration goes to monarch butterflies, as the world's longest-distance migrant with an annual, multi-generational journey. But there are other migratory butterflies and moths. In fact, Mr. Clyde Kessler monitors butterfly, moth and dragonfly migration in the Appalachian Mountains, on Rocky Knob in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. There they commonly see 12 different species of moths and butterflies migrating by--plus four species of dragonflies! Mr. Kessler's questions about these migrations sound so similar to the questions people had about monarch migration, before tagging and the discovery of the monarch's over-wintering sites in Mexico. Listen:
Three Cheers for the Ones That Spend the Winter!
As incredible as those migrations are, other butterflies and moths are incredible in the fact that they do NOT migrate! Instead, they have evolved the ability to tolerate the cold by timing their development. Each survives the winter in a life stage that is more compatible with winter's temperatures. This winter, when you're freeeeeeeezing cold, think about the moths and butterflies that stick around for the winter. How do they do it? Find out about these three species and let us know: How Do These Survive the Cold?
(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)
Migration is Not for Babies: Discussion of Challenge Question #6
Challenge Question #6 asked, "How would you explain to a person who's new to tracking monarch migration why it's impossible to see a baby monarch?"
Shanon, a fourth grade student, shared her knowledge of butterfly life cycles to answer this question:
Nice job! Butterflies are not like humans, who grow in size as they mature into adults. When an adult monarch butterfly emerges from the chrysalis, it emerges at its full size and its wings do not grow larger. While there is some variation in the sizes of adult monarchs, they measure around 10 centimeters from wing to wing. So if a person sees a butterfly that is much smaller, it is probably not a monarch--and it is certainly not a baby, as these students explain.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. In the Subject Line of each message write: Challenge Question #7 (or #8)
3. In the body of the message, answer ONE of the questions above.
The Next Monarch Migration Update Will Be Posted on October 4, 2000.
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