Butterfly Migration Update: February 13, 2004
It's Ecotourism Time at the Sanctuaries!
Every year, the monarchs reach Mexico in early November and they leave in late March. And as the butterflies come and go, so do tourists.
To conservationists, ecotourism is often seen as a way to help protect a natural area. The reasoning goes like this: if local people can earn money from visiting tourists, they will have a reason to protect natural habitat instead of developing it for other uses.
Ecotourism in the Monarch Sanctuaries
How Many Pesos to Visit?
These are entrance tickets for visiting the Sierra Chincua sanctuary. How much does it cost to visit?
Ecotourism Safari: How Many Examples Can You Find?
In these photos, how many ways can you find that local people are earning money from tourists? Do you see any ways that tourism might be bad for the butterflies?
A Walk in the Sanctuary With Guide Javier
Try This! Interview a Grown-up About Seasonal Work
Share Javier’s story with an adult you know. Here are some questions you could ask to guide the discussion:
Student Travels to Mexico With Scientist
What would it be like to travel to the monarch sanctuaries with a world famous biologist? Ask 12 year old Alex White. He’s visiting the sanctuaries this week with his grandfather, Dr. Lincoln Brower. Dr. Brower asked Alex if he’d be willing to keep a journal for Journey North. Alex responded,
Watch for an update from Alex about the various aspects and adventures of their expedition when he returns!
Meet Dr. Bill Calvert, Our Online Tour Guide
"I guess I'm a roving reporter for the monarch aspect of Journey North," says Dr. Calvert in this video clip, where you can see him walking in the monarch's forest surrounded by butterflies. (See video on web.) Dr. Calvert was one of the first biologists to study the monarchs at the over-wintering sites in Mexico, along with Dr. Brower. From 1976-1982, he spent nearly two months each year in the sanctuaries. He camped beside the colonies at 10,000 ft. altitude, and experienced the same cold, wet conditions that the monarchs endure.
How's the Weather in Mexico?
Discussion of Challenge Question #1
Everybody predicted warmer temperatures in Mexico, and was surprised by the cold! Here are some of the questions sent by students at Peter Woodbury School in New Hampshire, Iselin Middle School in New Jersey, and Citrus Elementary in Florida:
Discussion of Challenge Question #2
How Many Monarchs Remain?
Last week we learned that freezing temperatures killed up to 10 percent of the over-wintering monarch population, some 11 million monarchs! Challenge Question #2 asked how many would be left.
First Graders at Ferrisburgh Central School are studying monarchs this year. They are very interested in seeing the pictures of them overwintering in Mexico. Here’s how they did the math:
How to Respond to Today's Challenge Question:
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