Monarch Butterfly Update: The Case of the Missing Monarchs

As many of you Earth Rangers already know the Monarch butterfly needs our help. Some people use pesticides on Milkweed, which just happens to be the Monarch’s favourite plant and one that they really need to survive. Thanks to your support through the Monarch butterfly Bring Back the Wild™ project we’re taking action! With your help the Nature Conservancy of Canada is protecting land in the Tall Grass Prairies of Manitoba. In this special spot, wildflowers are allowed to grow, well…WILD!

monarch butterfly wings
How are the Monarchs doing in their protected home? We sent out a message to the Tall Grass Prairies in Manitoba to check in on the Monarch and received… nothing back. That’s because the Monarchs are gone! But don’t worry they’ll be back in the spring. Monarch butterflies aren’t such big fans of winter, that’s why they head south every year. Since the Monarch butterfly isn’t around we asked researchers at the Nature Conservancy of Canada to fill us in on what the life of a migrating Monarch is all about.

Migrating like a Monarch

monarch butterflies by Agunther

Photo Credit: Agunther

Hate long car trips with the family? What about making a yearly journey that takes multiple generations to complete? That’s exactly what the Monarch butterfly does, they make a massive migration south every year to the same spot then turn around and head back north in the spring. The length of these journeys is longer than the normal lifespan of most Monarchs, which is less than two months for butterflies born in early summer. How Monarchs from multiple generations find their way on this epic journey is still a mystery that researchers are trying to solve.

Heading South!

monarchs flying by raina kumra

Photo Credit: Raina Kumra

By the end of October Monarch populations east of the Rocky Mountains migrate to the sanctuaries of the Mariposa Monarca Biosphere Reserve within the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt pine-oak forests in the Mexican states of Michoacán and México. Monarch populations on the west coast spend their winters in various sites in central coastal and southern California of the United States, like Pacific Grove and Santa Cruz. This journey is so incredible that it has earned the Monarch butterfly some pretty impressive titles, like being the only butterfly that migrates both north and south on a regular basis. The Monarch butterfly also is recognized as being one of the few insects capable of making trans-Atlantic crossings.

Check back next week for another update from the field when we take a look at the Newfoundland Pine Marten project.

Earth Rangers is a non-profit organization that works to inspire and educate children about the environment. At EarthRangers.com kids can play games, discover amazing facts, meet animal ambassadors and fundraise to protect biodiversity.
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16 Comments

  1. New Bee
    Ranger56136712 says:

    hi earth rangers i need help i want to bring back the wild but i dont have money what should i do?:)

    Green Bean

    admin Reply:

    In the past, earth rangers have sold lemonade, sold cookies, and even their own artwork to raise donations! If you don’t want to do that, you can always help bring back the wild by spreading the word. A lot of people don’t know that these animals are in trouble and need their help. If more people know, the better the chances of these animals being protected.

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    Rating: 4.2/5 (5 votes cast)
  2. New Bee
    perey says:

    s s so me many b b butterflys

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  3. Green Bean
    Ranger56138690 says:

    in my class were leaning about animals and we got to let them go
    yesterday.

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  4. Green Bean
    Ranger56149921 says:

    i love monarchs

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  5. New Bee
    naomidumas says:

    they die in 9 months
    because they can,t live that long

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    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

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