Monarch News

Send a Monarch to Mexico, 2015

The 20th annual Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration is about to begin. Children in the US and Canada are invited to create ambassador butterflies for students who live beside the monarchs’ winter sanctuaries in Mexico. Postmark deadline: October 9, 2015

Monarch Ambassador 08-15

Mexican students hold ambassador butterflies with El Rosario monarch sanctuary in the background.

June 18, 2015

As migration winds down, the milkweed patch is the place to be. Egg-laying females are looking for milkweed, and males are looking for females.

June 11, 2015

Spring migration is almost complete. The population has now expanded from 3 acres of winter habitat in Mexico into 1 billion acres of breeding habitat in the US and Canada. How many generations will the monarchs produce this summer where you live?

June 4, 2015

The grandchildren of the monarchs from Mexico are developing now. How many generations will this summer yield?

May 14, 2015

Watch out for imposters! How can you tell?

May 7, 2015

Eating and growing, today’s monarch caterpillars will soon be northbound butterflies. Here comes the next generation.

April 29, 2015

A monarch lays an egg in your garden. What happens next?


Jenny Wiley Butterfly Weekend 92515

April 23, 2015

No longer their brilliant orange, the monarchs from Mexico are nearing the end of their travels. A new generation will continue the journey north.

April 16, 2015

With milkweed paving the way, the leading edge of the migration is now 1,500 miles from the overwintering region in Mexico. How do monarchs find the milkweed they need for egg-laying?

April 2, 2015

Migration enters Texas! The monarch parade began on Sunday and continued all week. What will this latest-ever arrival mean for spring production?

March 26, 2015

At last — here come the monarchs! Estela witnessed a mass departure on Tuesday, with north-bound butterflies filling the sky over Angangueo. These monarchs carry the seeds of the next generation.

Monarch News: March 26, 2015

March 18, 2015

Weather delays! We’re still waiting for the mass exodus from Mexico and first arrivals in Texas.

Monarch News: March 18, 2015

March 12, 2015

Mating is reaching its peak as the monarchs get ready to head north to the breeding grounds. Mass departure from Mexico is imminent.

Monarch News: March 12, 2015

March 5, 2015

Activity is reaching fever pitch. Within the month monarchs will vacate their winter haunt and begin the recolonization of North America.

Monarch News: March 5, 2015

February 26, 2015

There’s a flurry of activity now as thirsty monarchs break out of their clusters in search of water. This is the beginning of colony break-up in advance of spring migration.

Monarch News: February 26, 2015

February 19, 2015

Spring is approaching for monarchs in Mexico, but last week’s hail storm provide that winter’s not over yet.

Monarch Butterfly News: February 19, 2015

February 12, 2015

The monarch’s winter home in Mexico is surprisingly cold. Temperatures often fall to freezing! Why do monarchs migrate to such a cold place?

Monarch Butterfly News: February 12, 2015

February 10, 2015

U.S. Government Pledges $3.2 Million for Monarch Conservation!

Monarch Butterfly News: February 10, 2015

February 5, 2015

Monarchs from across the continent are now clustered by the millions in a small region of Mexico. This year, half of the monarchs are concentrated in only one of the 12 overwintering sites. How does this year compare to previous years?

Monarch Butterfly News: February 5, 2015

January 27, 2015

This year’s monarch population is second smallest ever, 80% below the historic average. There are 57 million monarchs compared to a long-term average of 300 million. Half of this year’s monarchs are residing in only one of the 12 traditional sites.

Monarch Butterfly News


Monarch on Tropical Milkweed

Monarch numbers seem to be rising!! But, one important point is to plant native, not tropical, milkweed, which stays lush into the fall, confusing the Monarchs. “Butterfly enthusiasts shouldn’t feel bad for planting tropical milkweed, monarch researchers say. But they should cut the plants back in fall and winter. Or even better, replace them with natives. There are native plant societies across the country that can offer advice.”

November 6, 2014

It’s official!  The first colony — containing several thousand monarchs — was discovered in the Sierra Chincua Sanctuary on November 2, 2014. “Faithful to their cultural and ancestral tradition, the monarchs have begun to arrive in their overwintering palace in Mexico,” reports Biologist Felipe Martínez Meza.

Monarch Butterfly News: November 6, 2014

October 31, 2014

“The first monarchs of the 2014-2015 overwintering season have reached their mountain home in México! At 6:35 pm this evening at full sunset, three monarchs were flying about in the core of El Cerrito Forest, likely preparing to rest for the night in the soft pines having just completed their long journey south.” —- Estela Romero, Michoacán, México.  October 30, 2014.

Monarch Butterfly News: October 31, 2014

October 30, 2014

The first monarchs are expected to reach their winter home any day! Traditionally they arrival by November 1st, Mexico’s Day of the Dead. “The arrival of the monarchs symbolizes our ancestors’ souls returning to Earth for their annual visit,” says Estela Romero.

Monarch Butterfly News: October 30, 2014

October 23, 2014

After funneling across Texas for over two weeks, the monarchs are entering northern Mexico now and traveling the final 500 miles of their journey. Large concentrations are raising hopes for a population rebound.

Monarch Butterfly News: October 23, 2014

October 9, 2014

North winds swept the migration into Texas this week, and marked the beginning of peak season in the state known for the most spectacular migration of all.

Monarch Butterfly News: October 9, 2014

October 2, 2014

After nearly two weeks of south winds, the leading edge of the migration hasn’t moved south of Kansas. To the delight of people watching, monarchs continue to come down from the north and are stacking up as they wait for a north wind.

Monarch Butterfly News: October 2, 2014

September 25, 2014

The Atlantic Ocean is directing the migration now in the east. Monarchs hug the coast as they travel southward, trying to avoid the winds that can carry them out to sea.

Monarch Butterfly News: September 25, 2014

September 18, 2014

Unseasonably cold temperatures this week shortened daily flights, but the monarchs pressed on.

Monarch Butterfly News: September 18, 2014

September 11, 2014

People counted monarchs roosting by the hundreds, feeding by the dozens, and flying overhead at rates up to 16 monarchs per minute. Comparative counts reveal migration pathways — and are pointing to a larger population this year.

Monarch Butterfly News: September 11, 2014

September 4, 2014

Mobbing favorite nectar sources and resting at overnight roosts, migration is approaching its peak in the north central region. This year’s large numbers are a hopeful sign.

Monarch Butterfly News: September 4, 2014

August 5, 2014

The magnificent migratory generation is developing now. Watch for signs of southward movement in mid-August.

Monarch Butterfly News:  August 5, 2014

Buckhorn Lake State Park Butterfly Garden Report

Click here to read about the success of Buckhorn Lake State Park’s Butterfly Garden, and see before and after photos!

July 2014

Breeding is in full force now, and the population is growing with each new generation.

Please report monarch adults, eggs, and larvae and tell us how many you are seeing.

Monarch Butterfly News: July 2014

June 19, 2014

Tracking continues! Maps reveal key breeding habitat.  Please report your first monarch egg, larva, and adult.

Monarch Butterfly News: June 19, 2014

June 12, 2014

Three months into the migration, the monarchs have now spread across 1 billion acres into prime breeding habitat.

Monarch Butterfly News: June 12, 2014

June 5, 2014

With breeding season in full force now, monarchs need nectar to fuel their active lives. We can’t just plant milkweed. We have to plant nectar plants, too!

Monarch Butterfly News: June 5, 2014

May 29, 2014

A dramatic increase in monarch eggs reported this week brings a hopeful start to the breeding season in the north. Where on the milkweed plant does a monarch lay her eggs, and why does it matter?

Monarch Butterfly News: May 29, 2014

May 22, 2014

Sightings doubled this week as monarchs sailed into the Upper Midwest. Dr. Chip Taylor is watching for prospects of recovery.

Monarch Butterfly News: May 22, 2014

May 15, 2014

Sailing on south winds, monarchs advanced into 4 new states and our first Canadian province. Those from Mexico are fading away, but one remarkable female made it to Indiana.

Monarch Butterfly News: May 15, 2014

May 7, 2014

With wings to the wind, the monarchs are about to fly swiftly into new northern territory. Look closely at the wings that can carry them so far.

Monarch Butterfly News: May 7, 2014

May 1, 2014

The first monarchs of the new generation are now appearing! Watch for sightings to surge as the butterflies reach their northern breeding grounds.

Monarch Butterfly News: May 1, 2014

April 24, 2014

The monarchs from Mexico are nearing the end of their journey, and a new generation will soon take their place. The wings of butterflies that overwintered in Mexico are typically faded, tattered, or torn. Observers are watching for fresh-winged monarchs now, a sign that the next generation is appearing.

Monarch Butterfly News: April 24, 2014

April 16, 2014

In honor of Earth Day, share the monarch’s remarkable story to inspire your community to protect milkweed and nectar-rich habitats.

Monarch Butterfly News:  April 16, 2014

April 10, 2014

Following spring milkweeds, monarchs are quickly spreading across their southern range. The population that occupied only 1.65 acres of winter habitat have now expanded into over 200 million acres of breeding habitat.

Monarch Butterfly News:  April 10, 2014

April 3, 2014

The monarchs are moving across Texas in full force now, and hundreds of thousands still remain in Mexico. This week, several unexpected sightings have raised valuable questions.

Monarch Butterfly News:  April 3, 2014

March 27, 2014

Here come the monarchs! The first wave of migrants has entered Texas and millions more are on their way.

Monarch Butterfly News:  March 27, 2014

March 20, 2014

Here come the monarchs! Estela witnessed a dramatic departure last Thursday. Now, observers along the migration trail are waiting to report first arrivals.

Monarch Butterfly News:  March 20, 2014

March 13, 2014

We’re waiting for news of the mass departure from Mexico and of the first migration sightings in the north. Monarchs at El Rosario Sanctuary are widely dispersed now, but several clusters remain.

Monarch Butterfly News:  March 13, 2014

March 6, 2014

There’s a flurry of activity as thirsty monarchs break out of their clusters in search of water. The journey north is about to begin!

Monarch Butterfly News:  March 6, 2014

February 27, 2014

As the end of the overwintering season rapidly approaches, important changes are taking place. Mating has begun and fat reserves are running low.

Monarch Butterfly News:  February 27, 2014

February 20, 2014

With migration set to begin within the month, people are rallying on behalf of the monarchs

Monarch Butterfly News:  February 20, 2014

February 13, 2014

Nearly 90% of this year’s monarch population occupies only 2 of the 12 overwintering sites. Explore monarch distribution in Mexico’s sanctuaries and consider the implications.

Monarch Butterfly News:  February 13, 2014

February 6, 2014

The number of monarchs in Mexico has plunged to a new low, with only 1.65 acres of forest covered with clustering butterflies.

Monarch Migration News:  February 6, 2014

The announcement arrived at 10 pm today: “They first monarchs are here! They were majestically flying over our town, not looking in the least affected by the very bad weather we have had in the last days.”  Estela Romero, Angangueo, Michocán, México

Monarch Migration News:  November 6, 2013

October 31, 2013

The first monarchs should reach the overwintering region any day. The arrival is tied to Mexican traditions, culture, and seasons.

Monarch Migration News:  October 31, 2013

October 24, 2013

The migration is crossing into Mexico now. Although it’s their first migration, monarchs follow routes previous monarchs have flown.

Monarch Migration News:  October 24, 2013

October 17, 2013

It’s peak migration in Texas, and migrants are still pouring down from the north. Can late-season monarchs make it to Mexico?

Monarch Migration News:  October 17, 2013

October 10, 2013

Long-awaited north winds swept the migration into Texas, and a late peak occurred at northern latitudes.

Monarch Migration News:  October 10, 2013

October 3, 2013

The migration made a clear push southward this week. Estela Romero says people in Mexico are eager for the monarchs’ arrival.

     Monarch Migration News: October 3, 2013 

September 26, 2013

According to Journey North, Monarch picked up noticeably during the past week, as north winds carried monarchs southward.  This week, take a look at the stopover sites monarchs use to rest and refuel:

Monarch Migration News: September 26, 2013

September 23, 2013

  • Monarch Premigration Migration – What is it?  Have you seen any?  They could be laying eggs in your yard today!   Click here for a fascinating article from Wild Ones.
  • Click here to link to A Way To’s article, A Precarious Time for Monarchs and Their Migration.

September 13, 2013

UK/LFUCG Arboretum Director Marcia Farris and Gcky President Joanna Kirby at the newly certified Monarch Waystation at the Arboretum

 Marcia Farris and Joanna

 Arboretum Monarch Waystation

Arboretum Monarch Waystation 2

Arboretum Monarch Waystation 3

September 9, 2013

Follow this link to an article about monarch butterflies. It was written by Lexington’s Wild Ones Chapter President’s son, Gabriel Popkin. He has done a great job of evoking a world made much poorer by the lack of this beautiful creature. However, as Gabriel tells us, if we keep planting milkweed, we can help. Let’s do it!