FINAL Symbolic Monarch Migration Update: May 12, 2000
Symbolic Monarchs Now on Their Way!
We know you'll enjoy the beautiful butterflies that are coming this year. A huge THANKS goes to Papalote's Martha Sanchez, who's responsible for the high quality of butterflies you're about to receive. (Imagine if it were your job to find the thousands and thousands of Mexican children that she did!)
Special thanks also goes to these volunteers who last Saturday spent a beautiful spring day inside packing the butterflies for their safe journey!
...ALL U.S. BUTTERFLIES SHOULD BE RECEIVED BY MAY 19TH...
Special Delivery in Canada
Continue the Cycle of Friendship
Once you receive your symbolic butterflies:
1) Get to Know Your New Friend
2) Try to Pass the Butterfly On
3) Lost and Found
4) Share Your Butterfly's Story
Use the Web to Share Stories and as an Electronic Lost and Found
The Symbolic Butterflies are now scattered across the continent. We've set up a meeting place on the Journey North Website, so you can follow their trails. Use the web as a place to share your stories, and as a "lost and found."
Field Guide to Symbolic Monarch Butterflies
New Butterflies, Made in Mexico
Field Marks: Look for Spanish writing! Mexican children are allowed to keep a butterfly as long as they make a new one. (They like to be able to keep the butterfly they received, just as you do. They also want to make a butterfly themselves.) These new butterflies become part of the symbolic monarch population and represent the next generation.
New Butterflies, Made in Mexico, Addressed to Another Student
Field Marks: As mentioned above, sometimes you may see the name and address of a U.S. or Canadian student written on the new butterfly. In such cases, the Mexican student has written the name of the student whose butterfly he received. (If you find such a butterfly, please pass it on!)
Round-Trip Butterflies, Made in the U.S. or Canada Last Fall
Field Marks: Look for the name and address of a Canadian or U.S. student on the butterfly. This means you have a butterfly that went to Mexico, was cared for this winter by a Mexican student, and was then sent back northward.
Some round-trip butterflies were "stamped" by the Mexican student. This is because so many butterflies were sent to Mexico (over 54,000!), there were not enough children to write back personally to each. However, remember that you can contact the U.S. or Canadian student who originally made this butterfly! (For example: Susie in Portland, Maine may receive a butterfly that was made last fall by Tom in Nebraska. Tom would love to know where his butterfly landed!)
Some round-trip butterflies have a letter stapled to them. This can be confusing at first, when you see that it's a U.S. or Canadian butterfly. If the letter is written in Spanish you know it was cared for by the Mexican student who wrote the letter.
A few lucky students will receive butterflies that spent the winter with a student who lives in the same mountains where the real monarchs over-winter. Some of these butterflies are new, and others are round-trip butterflies. All have yellow tags.
Special Monarchs Tagged on the Monarch's Migration Pathway
Other lucky students will receive a butterfly was made by a student who lives in northern Mexico, on the monarch's migration pathway.
Every fall, rivers of monarchs funnel overhead on their way to the sanctuaries in Central Mexico. About 20 years ago, when her children were young, Senora Rocio Trevino's family moved to Saltillo, Coahuilla ( 25.25 N,-100.01 W). Every fall, thousands of butterflies would swarm through their town. People thought they were invading insects, and children made a game to see how many they could kill. As Senora Trevino remembers, her children held contests to see who could make the biggest pile! Much later, she came to realize that these butterflies were the same, famous monarch butterflies that spend the winter in the mountains of Michoacan, over 400 miles to the south. Senora Trevino became concerned that uninformed people, like her own children, weren't aware of this and were killing them. So began the "Correo Real" Monarch Education Project. Senora Trevino coordinates students' reports of monarch butterflies from across Mexico. This butterfly was made by one of the students who learned about the monarchs because of Senora Trevino.
Not All Monarchs Survive the Trip
Unfortunately, each year we send more butterflies to Mexico than we receive back in the spring. This year, we had about an 66% return rate. This means that each class should expect to receive about 66% as many butterflies as they sent. We wish it were possible for each and every student who sent a butterfly to receive one back in the spring!
We recommend you prepare your students to view this as a class project, rather than as an individual exchange. Many teachers make a bulletin board where all the monarchs sent to the class are displayed. Use this as an opportunity for students to find parallels between the symbolic and real monarch migrations. See if they can come up with examples such as these:
Copyright 2000 Journey North. All Rights Reserved. Please send all questions, comments, and suggestions to our feedback form