All Monarchs Go to Mexico
Utah Students Study “Western” Monarchs
do monarchs in the Rocky Mountain region go for the winter?
Dots suggest areas of uncertainty.
two populations of migratory monarchs in North America.
Mountain region has long been considered the dividing line between the
two populations. But are the Rocky Mountains truly a barrier between
the two populations? And if so, does the Continental Divide mark the
line between the two populations? Do monarchs east of the Rocky Mountains
mix with those that over-winter on the California Coast?
those questions have been debated. A Utah teacher and his students helped
to uncover some answers.
Hellstern of Byrum, Utah, wrote:
classes initiated the Intermountain Monarch Butterfly Project. We are
associated with the Monarch Program of San Diego, and have helped them
determine the winter migration destinations of Intermountain Monarchs.
“When we started this project back in 1994 there was little, if
any, knowledge about the migration routes or roosts of the Intermountain
Western population. My students helped to establish the baseline data,
and recruit other schools along the western slope of the Rocky Mountains
to assist in collecting this information.
"Thanks to some of our tags, our Monarchs have been spotted in
Santa Cruz, California, which means these beautiful and delicate creatures
cross the Great Basin Desert and the Sierra. Amazing!!! Our monarchs
may not be going to Mexico, but we feel just as attached to them."
direction did the Utah monarch fly?
the course the Utah students’ monarch might have flown from
Byrum, Utah, to Santa Cruz, California.
you find the Great Basin Desert? The Sierras?
many kilometers did this monarch fly? How many miles? In which direction?
the Rocky Mountains on a physical map. Can you find the Continental
various points in the Rocky Mountain region, predict where a monarch
from this region might over-winter. Would it fly southward to Mexico
or westward to the California Coast? Explain the reasoning behind