Monarch Migration: A Collaboration

Before I headed out with my son this past Saturday on our own excursion to experience the life of a monarch butterfly firsthand, I was writing a post with about where to go to see monarchs in action and monarch migration. This is the time of year that they are starting to gear up for their journey south. As Sarah, the director of the Blendon Woods MetroPark in Columbus, Ohio, and an expert on monarchs told me, monarchs either will travel south or they will reproduce. Those that reproduce live for about 30 days. Reproducing poops them out. Those that make the journey to Mexico, or places in between, live for about 9 months.

Here are places that celebrate monarchs. If you see a monarch in your own travels, look to see if there is a band on it. There are programs where monarchs are tagged so their journey can be traced and documented.

At the website Monarch Watch, a University of Kansas community-wide (think as big as the world) research and conservation project, you can find out all kinds of info about the monarchs and their migration. On September 8 there is an open house and a tagging event on the 15th. There is also a link to a forum where you can learn about monarch habitats and how to create your own.

Here’s another project, digital monarch watch, where people can document real-time monarch migration.

If you are in Texas, here’s information about where to track monarchs. For everyone else, there’s a good description of the migration process.

California is one place monarchs pass through. Here are two places I found where you can see monarchs in October.Pismo Beach, California. Monarchs will start showing up here again in November (although it could be earlier) Pacific Grove, California (This site says they arrive in October)

The photo is thanks to icyshard who took this shot of monarchs mating at Coronado Butterfly Preserve in Ellwood, California.

If you want to go on a monarch tour in Mexico, check out Gap Adventures.

If you have a monarch migration event where you live, let us know and provide a link if possible.