Monarch Migration News: March 19, 2015
By Elizabeth Howard
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Weather delays! We're still waiting for the mass exodus from Mexico and first arrivals in Texas.  

Monarch Butterflies at Sanctuary in Mexico
Estela Romero      March 16, 2015

News: Weather Delays
Estela reports unusually cold, winter-like weather at the sanctuaries. For the past 10 days, monarchs have been delayed by rain and even snow.

"The tourist season was to end in a few days. Now it may be extended as late as Easter weekend, March 29th." 

Surviving a Storm
A late-season snowstorm hit the sanctuaries on March 11th. Estela visited El Rosario on March 16th to see the impact.

A single storm in Mexico can affect the number of monarchs that head north to breed. As scientists work to understand factors that impact the population, it's valuable to document weather events like these.

Entering Texas?
We're still waiting for a clear sign that the migration is entering Texas. Because some monarchs overwinter in Texas, new arrivals can be difficult to distinguish. Clues that a butterfly is a migrant from Mexico include:

  • directional flight
  • faded, tattered wings

Compared to previous years, the migration is late. By now monarchs are usually being reported in Austin, about 200 miles north of the border.

All eyes on Texas! We hope to announce the monarchs' arrival next week.

Monarch Butterflies at Sanctuary in Mexico
March Storms
Estela Romero
Monarch Butterflies at Sanctuary in Mexico
Surviving a Storm
Estela Romero
Monarch Butterfly with Faded Wings
Signs of Migration
Kathy Metzger
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To understand the monarch's conservation needs, we rely on the help of citizen scientists. Invite your followers to report their monarch observations.


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Maps: Report Your Sightings
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Next Update March 26, 2015