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Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: May 2, 2002

Today's Report Includes:

News From the Migration Trail

As today's map shows, the migration has advanced very little since last week. With only 14 new sightings to report, the number of adult monarchs is now clearly at a low. We expect this to change soon. In past springs, sightings have more than doubled with the arrival of the new generation.

The most exciting news of the week was the report of a fresh butterfly in Iowa, at latitude 42 North! The butterfly was spotted by Royce Bitzer of the University of Iowa's entomology department. Almost certainly it represents the new generation, and probably flew up from Texas.

Meanwhile, people are still seeing faded butterflies. Monarchs with worn wings were noted in Wichita, KS, Snellville, GA, and Davis, OK. Other observers reporting this week did not mention wing condition.

It's not easy to separate the generations by wing condition, especially when you only get a quick glance at the butterfly. Please do your best to observe and report the appearance of the wings. It's fascinating to see how far the monarchs from Mexico travel.

Cool Week, Little Change in Milkweed
Only 5 new sites reported milkweed during the past 7 days. This compares to 73 in the previous 14 days! As these maps show (see Web), temperatures fluctuated back to the cool side last week in areas where milkweed has not yet emerged.


Cool Temperatures
April 21-27

Warm Temperatures
April 14-20

Symbolic Monarchs Almost Ready to Fly
This is a short migration update because we've been busy. The symbolic butterflies are almost ready for the last leg of their journey! Pictured here are your butterflies and the Journey North staff. We held our annual, outdoor spring packing day last Friday. A late season blizzard hit Minnesota the next day, so we were lucky to have such beautiful weather.




Before mailing any packages we must wait until all are ready to go. Otherwise, people worry that their butterflies are lost and write to us with concern. Therefore, we will mail them all on Monday, May 6th. Please allow time for the mail to reach you--especially if you live in Canada. We ask that you not contact us until after this deadline:

** Mark your calendar**
Homecoming for Symbolic Monarchs: May 15, 2002

Noticia de la migracion de la mariposa monarca
As the butterflies fly over your homes, schools and cities, we're sending the news back to the students in Mexico so they can track the migration too. Here is this week's report in Spanish, with an English translation:

Journey North
Year End Evaluation
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The Next Monarch Migration Update Will Be Posted on May 9, 2002

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