Monarch Butterfly
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Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration

Spring Updates

  • FINAL Symbolic Migration Update: May 12, 2000
    The Symbolic Monarchs Are on Their Way!
    Watch your mailbox, because the the symbolic monarchs are now completing the final leg of their long migration. They should arrive at all U.S. schools by May 19th. It takes a little longer for Symbolic Butterflies to fly to Canada, but thanks to Mr. Rod Murray's class in Toronto, Canadian butterflies should complete their migration by May 26th.
  • Symbolic Monarch Migration Update: April 7, 2000
    The symbolic butterflies are now spending their final days in Mexico. Next week, the Children's Museum in Mexico City will send off thousands and thousands of new butterflies on their flight north. The purpose of the Symbolic Migration is to build understanding and friendship between children of Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.
  • Whose Butterflies Landed Near the Sanctuaries?
    Over 100 photos from the sanctuary region are included in the links from this report. You may find your symbolic monarch in the hands of a student who cared for it this winter!

Fall Updates

About the Symbolic Migration
The 4th annual "Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration" is now underway! In collaboration with Mexico City's Museo del Nino (Children's Museum), students across the United States and Canada have created thousands of paper butterflies that have "migrated" to Mexico for the winter.

The butterflies' fall flight is timed to correspond with the real monarchs' journey south. The paper butterflies arrive in Mexico around the time of the Dia de los Muertos (November 2), just as the real monarchs do. According to Mexican legend, these returning butterflies are thought to carry the ancestors' souls and play a role in the Dia de los Muertos celebrations.

Mexican students at the Museo del Nino greet the butterflies and watch over them during the winter months. At the same time in the mountains nearby, the entire eastern population of North American monarch butterflies rests in Mexico for the winter.

Sometime next March, when the real monarchs' departure from Mexico is announced, the paper butterflies will return to North America. Each butterfly will carry a special message from the Mexican students to the students in Canada and U. S. who made them.

The migration of the monarch butterfly is one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world. It is also considered an "endangered phenomena" because scientists fear this incredible journey may not last beyond the next decade. This celebration will symbolize an international partnership between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Joined by a fragile butterfly, shared hope will be carried across borders and between generations.

Please Join Us Next Year!
The symbolic butterflies have all left for Mexico, so you've missed the trip this year. However, we hope you'll come back next fall. Your participation in this symbolic event represents tremendous international support for the monarch. As part of the Symbolic Migration of 1998/1999, 48,372 U.S. and Canadian students made paper butterflies which flew to Mexico for safekeeping over the winter. With a similar number of Mexican students returning butterflies in the spring, a staggering total of over 80,000 students across North America contributed to this effort.

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