Monarch Migration Update: May 10, 2000
Today's Report Includes:
First Monarchs Cross the Canadian Border!
This word just in--and not even in time to be included on our migration map:
* At 10 pm last night, Ontario teacher Rod Murray forwarded the big news we've been waiting for: The first monarchs of the millennium have arrived in Canada! (Two in fact, at Ontario's Point Pelee Provincial Park on May 6.)
* Similarly, Ontario naturalist Don Davis forwarded a report of 1 Monarch at Rondeau Provincial Park on May 6th, and another at Long Point on May 8th.
We'll add these international travelers to next week's migration map! Meanwhile, maybe you can find the locations in Ontario yourself, based on Don Davis' description:
"Rondeau Provincial Park is located on the north shore of Lake Erie not far from Point Pelee in extreme south-western Ontario, whereas Long Point Provincial Park and the Long Point Peninsula, also on Lake Erie, are much further east," says Don.
Monarchs Pour into Northern U.S. States
What a difference one week can make! Compare this week's migration map to last week's and you'll see a huge jump northward: (See WWW.)
What Were Weather Conditions Last Week?
Students interested in weather should take a close look at this!
Other Highlights Along the Migration Trail
A Second Migration is Now Underway
During the past week, many people commented about the monarchs' bright colors. The sighting of fresh monarchs reminds us: The children of the Mexican monarchs are now emerging in force. Watch carefully for these fresh monarchs and, when you report your sighting, please include notes about the condition of the wings.
Mapping the 1st Spring Generation
How far did the monarchs from Mexico go--and where are their offspring now being seen? As you place today's data on your map, you may want to distinguish between the 2 generations--perhaps with a differently shaped symbol.
Which Generation Will Go to Mexico Next Fall?
As you know, spring is the beginning of the monarch's breeding season. The monarchs that migrate north from Mexico in March are of a very unusual generation. They live to be 8-9 months old--and they do not breed until after they've survived two migrations and a long winter in between!
In contrast, during the summer breeding season, monarchs live for only 2-5 weeks. Several generations live and die each summer, and it's the final generation that migrates to Mexico in the fall. Using the worksheet below, you can figure out which generation migrates to Mexico.
Here is the question: Of the monarchs that spent last winter in Mexico, do you think next fall's migratory generation will be:
* their children?
* their grandchildren?
* their great-grandchildren?
* their great-great-grandchildren?
* their great-great-great-grandchildren?
* their great-great-great-great-grandchildren?
* ....you have the idea, now see if you can calculate the answer!
If you live in the monarch's summer breeding range, you can use this chart to keep track of the generations
that develop this summer where you live.
Do Most Monarchs Migrate On Weekends?
Discussion of Challenge Question #23
Several weeks ago we challenged you to, "Make a list of all the ways that the observers might affect the results of our study. (First prize goes to the class with the longest list of examples!)"
We were only joking about a prize; the question was intended just for fun. But when we saw how hard Miss Bailey's class in Vero Beach, FL worked on this question we decided to send them a real prize after all!
Check out the 43 examples of human behavior that these students imagined. Included are some very funny--but all too real--ways people might affect the results of our study of migration. Human behavior is one of the variables we have to work with. And from this list, you can see how variable people can be!
"Here is our list of observer behaviors that might affect this study," wrote Miss Bailey:
Please Note: We will continue to track the monarch migration until the butterflies reach the end of the road in late June. However, we're asking for your evaluation of our program now, before the end-of-the-school-year rush. Thank you!
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