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Monarch Update: February 25, 2010
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Your Sightings!

This week, scientists and citizens share their observations from Mexico as they look at the causes and consequences of this month's storm. The deforestation that has long worried monarch scientists is now a heightened concern for the citizens of Angangueo. "If we don't protect the forest, we can see the serious consequences for ourselves."

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week

Ask the Expert!
February 26-March 12

News: People and Butterflies After the Storm

1) Estela Romero Reports on the Community
Schools reopened this week and the Mexican army continues to coordinate clean-up efforts in Angangueo. In the aftermath of the crisis, Estela says people want to understand what caused the disastrous flooding and how it can be avoided in the future.

"As I have heard from many people in town—and as I myself consider true—the irrational wood-cutting in our region has dramatically shown its consequences. If we don't protect the forest, we can see the serious consequences for ourselves. It is a magnificent moment to continue my visits to the schools in Ocampo and Angangueo and convey this message."

2) Butterflies Delight Visitors From Georgia
Tour guides Kim Baily, Trecia Neal, and Susan Myers just returned to Georgia after their annual trip to the monarch sanctuaries. From their vantage point, the monarchs appeared largely as they have in previous years and everyone enjoyed the beauty:

"The monarchs hung tightly clustered high in the trees like beehives and swayed in the breezes. From our restricted point of view on the trail, we saw little evidence of mortality, but wondered what a walk under the clusters might reveal."

3) Dr. Bill Calvert
After visiting two monarch sanctuaries this week, Dr. Calvert shares his impressions. He saw little evidence of high mortality, yet noted low numbers at the Chincua sanctuary. Find out what clues tell Dr. Calvert if a monarch has frozen, starved, or been preyed upon.

4) Dr. Lincoln Brower's Weather Data Suggests Good News.
"The weather data tell us that this major storm very likely did not cause major butterfly mortality. If the skies had cleared earlier on the night of 4-5 February—and a morning temperature plunge had occurred while the butterflies were still wet—the outcome might have been dramatically different...
It is clear that butterflies suffered less than the local citizens—but only by a hair's breadth."

"The irrational wood-cutting in our region has dramatically shown its consequences. If we don't protect the forest, we can see the serious consequences for ourselves," says Estela Romero.


The monarchs hung like beehives...

The monarch population was at an all-time low when measured last December, before the February storm.
How many monarchs now?

Journal: Reading and Reflecting on News from Mexico

This week, four people have shared their observations in the aftermath of the storm that struck Mexico's monarch butterfly overwintering region. What kinds of information have the field reporters been able to collect? What information is still needed?

Journal Page

Seeing Monarchs or Milkweed? Report Now

All monarchs do not go to Mexico! Please help us document where monarchs are located this winter, and whether milkweed is available.



Research Question and Links: Explore!

This Week's Research Question:
What can you learn about deforestation and monarch conservation from these links?

Explore these links to do your research:

Additional links to explore:

More Monarch Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Monarch Migration Update Will Be Posted on March 4, 2010.

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