Monarch Migration Update: April 6, 1999
Today's Report Includes:
First Monarchs Reported in Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina!
The big news this week--monarchs have traveled much further to the north and east:
Dr. Lincoln Brower has monitored the arrival in north Florida, near Gainesville (29.65 N, -82.33 W), for years.
On March 22 his student wrote: "The Monarchs have arrived! I recorded the first two eggs yesterday-so they
were probably laid by a founding female."
(To respond to these questions, please follow the instructions below.)
Migration Spreads North of Texas and the Gulf Coast States
The first reports arrived from Oklahoma this week, and the migration seems to be picking up in Arkansas. Notice how the number of monarchs increased over the past week:
"Greetings from southwest Arkansas. The first monarch we saw visiting our outdoor classroom was a female and she stopped by on Thursday, March 25 to feed on some red verbena. On Saturday, March 27 we saw three more monarchs - all headed east. This past weekend we counted over 20 on April 3, and another 20 or so on April 4. Hope we get bigger numbers after all these storm fronts move through. We are on the edge on one of the major migration routes and don't get large numbers, but we appreciate the ones we do get. Let us hear from your part of the U.S. The students are very excited about seeing the monarchs return and are eagerly awaiting the return of the symbolic monarchs."
Anita Brisco, Texarkana, AR
Write Your Own Newspaper Column
Monarchs in the News
Tell your community that the monarchs are on their way! Ask to be a reporter for your local or school newspaper. Students at Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School wrote their own weekly news column called "Nature Track" for their community newspaper. February to June, the students captured highlights from Journey North News to include in their column.
Suggestions for Your Weekly News Reports
To Access the Data
Discussion of Challenge Question #17
Also on March 23 we asked, "According to Eligio Garcia's estimate, what percent of the monarch population has departed from El Rosario?"
Here's how Mrs. Sgalippi's Monarch Group at Simmons Elementary in Horsham, PA figured their answer: "We first subtracted 25 from 740 to determine the number of trees that were empty. We then divided that number (715) by 740 and multiplied by 100 to get 96.6%. We estimate that between 96% & 97% of the butterflies have departed El Rosario."
Discussion of Challenge Question # 18
In our March 23 update, Bill Calvert was concerned about reports of drought and asked, "How do you think drought in northern Mexico and Texas might affect the migrating monarchs?"
Mrs. Thornton's fourth grade class in West Carthage, NY figured, "No water for the butterflies could effect their drinking sources, also no water would mean the Milkweed cannot grow healthy for the butterflies long journey North. Some butterflies die of hunger, others of thirst, and some from both." (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Students in North Albany, Oregon had another concern: "Drought would mean there would not be as many flowers. Not as many flowers would mean not enough nectar for the monarchs. Not very much nectar would mean not enough food, which means some monarchs would die." (email@example.com)
When he returned to Texas, Bill Calvert was relieved to find monarchs arriving in good condition. "In drought years we expect 2 things," he said. "1) The monarchs will find fewer milkweeds than normal and 2) There will be less nectar available for them, so the butterflies will be more emaciated than they are in normal years."
How to Respond to Today's Monarch Challenge Questions
1. Address an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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