Migration Update: April 1, 2010
peak migration in Texas now, and the sudden increase in sightings is a
welcome surprise. What do you think could explain the change? This week,
tell us how your garden grows. Have you created habitat for monarchs at
your school, home or in your community?
Week's Update Includes:
of the Week
Sightings Soar Across Texas—Why?
seemed to come out of nowhere! Monarch sightings were suddenly being reported
at the rate of a dozen a day. By the week's end, we had received 99 new
sightings and the season's total had reached 129. A week ago, the season's
total was only 30!
you compare the number of sightings reported this spring to the number
in previous years, spring 2010 is nearly the same. (See
results raise questions! What could explain this sudden change in sightings?
- Was the
migration simply late this spring? Would that explain why so few people
reported monarchs until this past week?
- Is this
is a detection issue? That is, did it take longer this spring for each
observer to see his/her first monarch because there are fewer monarchs
in the population this spring?
we expect the number of sightings reported to correlate with the size
of the monarch population? After all, each observer only reports one
butterfly, their first of spring, regardless of the number of monarchs
- Did the
number of observers change, or their level of enthusiasm? How might
these things affect our results?
do you think? Write your thoughts about the questions raised
in this week's
journal page. Let's continue to think about these questions as we
watch the migration this spring!
first spring flowers are often found on trees. Apple trees, cherry
trees, and lilac bushes are among the monarch's favorites, so look
up to find nectaring monarchs this spring.
The Migration: Maps and Journal Page
Meet, and Learn
Your Habitat Site on the Map
you have a butterfly garden at your school, home, or in your community?
Share your story!
the map to meet other people who are establishing backyard habitat
for monarchs like these:
Students and teachers of the American School Anahuac of
Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, are tending the milkweed they planted
in their butterfly garden. They're improving the site this
year by planting milkweed seeds they collected last season.
These students are part of the Correo Real Program, Journey
North's sister project in northern Mexico.
"Oxford, Michigan will definitely have plenty of milkweed
plants to help out the monarch population!" exclaimed teacher
Mary Kraniak of Oxford, Elementary. "My students exceeded
my expectations and decided they 'need to get the word out'
regarding monarchs. We have ordered 12,000 milkweed seeds, packaged
them, and are ready to distribute them around our local community."
"We planted a garden for the monarchs. It has pentas for
them to get nectar and milkweed plants for their host plant,"
reports Lockhart Middle School.
"Our school grounds has a beautiful butterfly garden that
is recognized as a schoolyard habitat sanctuary. Students enjoy
walking through it and observing the many different butterflies
that inhabit it," says Colham Ferry Elementary.
a milkweed garden in Nuevo Leon
milkweed packets in Michigan. (Read
Question and Links: Explore!
Next Monarch Migration Update Will Be Posted on April 8, 2010.