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Symbolic Butterfly Migration Update: December 9, 2005

The Journey South is Complete!
Your Symbolic Butterflies have arrived in Angangueo, Michoacan, Mexico where they will be resting comfortably, just as the real Monarchs are resting now too. They will be well-cared for in Mexico until their journey north in Spring 2006.
Learn who's caring for the butterflies while they are in Mexico this winter.

Rocio and Students in
Northern Mexico
Students in the
Sanctuary-Area Schools
Visitors at the
Monarch Sanctuary Exhibits.

How Long Did it Take? Discussion of Mike's CQ #1
Just before he drove away from the Journey North office with your Butterflies, UPS driver Mike asked you, "Exactly how many days, hours and minutes do you think it will take the butterflies to reach Angangueo, Mexico?" We provided some clues for you too.
We eagerly awaited the news and have received word from Estela, one of our contacts in Angangueo that the Symbolic Butterflies arrived.

The Symbolic Butterflies were delivered to Angangueo on November 29, 2005 at 12:30 PM CST. They were traveling (migrating?!) for 6 days, 19 hours and 32 minutes.

Anyone remember how long it took LAST YEAR? Six days, 21 hours and 41 minutes.

How Many Migrated to Mexico? CQ #2
Life is full of situations where we use math to solve problems. How many butterflies did we send to Mexico in our paper boxes? We gave you some numbers and challenged you to some Monarch Math.
"How many Symbolic Butterflies do you think are flying to Mexico this year?" Here at the headquarters we estimated there were about 48,100.

We estimated there were about 48,100.


What was your estimate?

  • At Agape Academy in Cedar Hill, TN, Mr. Markle’s class shared their answer and how they solved it:
    The total number of pounds is 337. When divided by 18 you get 18.7 When 18.722222 is multiplied by 2569 we got 48,097.3 butterflies.”
  • Mrs. Trompler’s Fifth graders at Remington Elementary School in Tulsa, OK sharpened their pencils and dug in to solve the problem. They wrote:
    ” We think there are 48,089 symbolic butterflies going to Mexico this year”

Or…how about finding how many paper butterflies in one pound and then multiplying that by 337? All great ways to solve the same problem!

Great thinking, you're on the right track!

What's the Real and Final Butterfly Count?
After we prepared our estimates and shipped out the butterflies, a few straggler envelopes showed up at the Journey North headquarters (envelopes that had been mailed before the deadline but delayed). We've now added those stragglers to the mix, and here are the final counts:
Total Butterflies Sent In: 55,681
Total Schools Sending Butterflies: 1,142
Total Number of Envelopes: 2,569

Bonus Monarch Math
Try solving this puzzler for some bonus points!

Imagine all 337 pounds of monarchs- how would they look if you put them all on one tree? Like this?

(Attention older students.)

This year we sent 55,681 paper butterflies weighing 337 pounds to the monarch sanctuary region in Mexico.

  • What was the average weight of one paper butterfly?

The average weight of a live monarch butterfly is about 0.5 grams.

  • How does a paper butterfly’s weight compare to a real butterfly?
  • How many live monarchs would it take (if you could catch them!) to weigh a pound?

And finally, how many live monarchs would it take to weigh in at 337 pounds?

Small is Beautiful

Each year more and more of our paper butterflies arrive and show us that small is beautiful. Not only does a tiny butterfly migrate more economically to Mexico, but they also symbolize the kind of conservation concepts that are good for the Earth.

Consider creative ways you can make your butterflies smaller next year, too!

Participation High for Monarch Conservation!
BIG thanks to all the students, teachers, individuals, clubs and associations from across the U.S. and Canada for their many contributions and generous support of the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary Foundation (MBSF).

A total of $12,128 (U.S. dollars) was contributed during this fall's Symbolic Monarch Migration for conservation work in Mexico!

Of the 1,142 schools who participated in the Symbolic Migration, 54.8% sent contributions for conservation efforts in Mexico! A total of $12,128.34 (U.S. dollars) was contributed during this fall's Symbolic Monarch Migration for conservation work in Mexico!

Since we sent 55,681 monarchs to Mexico along with $12,128.34 for conservation work, we did some math. Picture this: Each little paper ambassador symbolically carried with it a 22 cent contribution on their journey south!

Schools Dedicated to the Cause

Dateline: Marlboro, Vermont

In honor of Fatso, an adult monarch raised by their classroom and released to fly to Mexico, the primary class in Marlboro, VT hosted a "Monarch Butterfly Lunch," in November. The money they raised will benefit the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary Foundation.
" We learned that their over-wintering grounds need protection," said Celeste MacArthur, a teacher in the class. The high-altitude oyamel fir forests of central Mexico are logged on a legal and illegal basis, and the monarch butterfly migration has earned a formal designation as a "threatened phenomenon." The lunch cost $4, and was open to the entire school and community.
On the menu were grilled cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, vegetable or chicken soup, cookies and cupcakes and fruit. The students raised $414 for conservation efforts.

Dateline: Toronto, Ontario

Funds were raised by the grade 5/6 students at Church St. Public School in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They sold beautiful butterfly cards to raise money and were able to send $200.00 for conservation efforts.
We would love to hear what your class did to raise money for MBSF. Drop us a line and tell us the story!

Thanks to the following people......y Gracias de las mariposas monarcas!

Life in the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary Region of Mexico
We have a sampling of stories and pictures to share of people who live in the monarch sanctuary region. Recorded in both Spanish and English, these stories portray the personal side of monarch conservation, as seen through the eyes of the children and families who live in the region. While these people are some of the poorest in our hemisphere, much of the responsibility for monarch conservation falls on their shoulders.

Orelia preparing tortillas
Gustavo herding
Noemi washing clothes

This is the FINAL Symbolic Monarch Migration Update for 2005.

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