Did You Know Monarch Butterflies Migrate Thousands of Miles From Central New York
Maybe I missed Biology class that day, but I did not know that Monarch Butterflies were migratory. Did you? And I mean serious migration as in thousands of miles just like geese.
There are even thousands of people monitoring the migration of Monarchs right down to an interactive map that tracks where they are along the route. From late summer to early fall, the Monarch makes a trip from as far North as Canada to Mexico, traveling some 3-thousand miles.
The butterflies mate and lay eggs during migration and by the time they get back to Central New York in the spring, it may be a 3rd or 4th generation of the butterfly that left. As you can imagine, the Monarchs are long gone from CNY usually leaving in late August.
Unfortunately, the number of Monarch Butterflies are on a serious decline. Urban growth and pesticides used in growing food take most of the blame for the loss. And while it may seem nearly unbelievable, some scientists speculate a large number are killed by cars during migration.
Some environmental groups are requesting endangered species status for the Monarch list in the United States because of the severe decline. The website, Journey North tracks the annual migration and asks for your assistance in reporting any sightings of Monarchs at their page. You can view interactive migration maps, get more information about them, and submit any sightings at Journey North.org.