30 Mar

Map of the Week: Monarch Migration

By Katie Anderson

The annual Monarch migration from Canada and the United States in the fall is a highly anticipated autumnal event. However, many don’t know that their migration is actually a full annual event. Created by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the Monarch Migration Spring & Fall map (above) depicts the travel patterns of Monarch butterflies year round. Migratory Monarchs live around nine months longer than nonmigratory butterflies, giving them the ability to fly several hundred miles north in the spring before laying their eggs.

The Eastern Monarch population is currently starting the process of migrating from Mexico to Texas and through the southern United States. Spring breeding areas are found across the south central and southeastern United States, which typically occur from late April to early May. Following this first generation, the second and third generations will travel further north and populate the summer breeding grounds. It is the fourth generation that is most famous thanks to their migration paths to the wintering sites in central Mexico. 

Interested in watching Monarchs journey north? Check out Journey North to report your own observations or see the observations of others!