Thu 27 Aug 2009
The Journey South has begun! On August 21, Monarch Watch and an organization called Journey North started getting reports of Monarch butterflies congregating in overnight roosts. This is a sign that the migration to Mexico has started!
The Monarchs that we see now are the last generation of the season. They will fly over 2,000 miles to a very special mountain area in Angangueo, Mexico (just outside of Mexico City). They will rest there through the winter, hunkered down, holding onto the branches of a special pine tree called the Oyamel. They’ll make short flights to nearby mountain streams but otherwise will rest through the winter to conserve their energy for the great journey back next spring.
A fun activity to do this time of year is to watch and report your Monarch sightings: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/monarch/FallWatch.html
We also have a couple of programs coming up this fall to learn more about Monarch butterflies:
The first is a family program called The Mysteries of Monarch Migration. For this program, we’ll watch a great movie (45 minutes) on Monarch migration and talk about what Monarch butterflies need to thrive. While Monarchs are not an endangered species, their great migration is considered an endangered phenomena because of the habitat loss occurring here and in Mexico. Registration is requested (although not required) so we can have enough handouts and other materials for everyone.
The second is designed for kids, it’s our Journey South Workshop. We’ll see a short video and talk about the Monarch lifecycle and the great migration and then make some monarch butterflies that we’ll send (in a symbolic migration) to the children who live in Angangueo, Mexico. The children in Angangueo will care for our Monarchs through the winter and then send them back to us in the Spring when we’ll have a follow-up program. You can sign up for this program on our website. It’s free but we need to limit the size of the class.