The Migration of Monarch Butterflies Tauheed Ahmad June 29, 2016 Animals, Nature 683 The Mexican mountain where orange, black Monarch butterflies gather in countless numbers covers 10 ACRES after a 3,400 mile journey from the US, they’ve earned a rest. The butterflies travel down from the United States and Canada to spend their winters in the mountains west of Mexico City where they are counted by biologists. Unfortunately population of Monarch butterflies have been in serious decline in the recent years, but thanks to conservation efforts by the Canadian, Mexican and American governments, putting great efforts to increase the insects have been making a big comeback. The Monarch butterflies habit of congregating in thick clumps, are counted by the surface area they cover instead of individually. The population has grown up since 2014 after a threatening drop as compare to previous decade. In the last winter the population had increased in significant number covered 10 acres, as compared to 2.8 acres of 2014. The lowest population was recorded in 2013, when only 1.66 acres covered. Millions of butterflies congregate, clustering onto pine and oyamel trees, appear orange and branches sag from the weight. These butterflies over the time to make this journey, four generations of monarch butterflies are born and die migration patterns are altered by climate change. The nature lovers believed Mexico, United States, and Canada should enhance their conservation efforts to protect and restore the habitat of this butterfly along its migratory route. Moreover, in the recent times, United States is working to reinstate milkweed, a plant important to the butterflies’ migration, on about 1,160 square miles within 5 years, both by planting and by designating pesticide-free areas. In addition it is also cracking down on illegal logging in the area the butterflies call home, as the trees are critical protection for the flimsy animals against the weather. During migration, monarchs fly north once they are exposed to cooler temperatures. Therefore, dense congregations are supposed to conserve heat, however if warmed by the sun, the butterflies take flight. Moreover, the beating of their wings has been compared to the sound of a light rain and the reserve is susceptible to lethal, freezing temperatures. Source: Dailymail Three bunches of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) hang from tree branches at the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Mexico This December, the butterflies covered 10 acres (about 4 hectares), compared to 2.8 acres (1.13 hectares) in 2014 and a record low of 1.66 acres (0.67 hectares) in 2013 The number of monarchs making the 3,400-mile (5,500-kilometer) migration from the United States and Canada declined steadily in recent years before recovering in 2014 The Monarch butterflies flock to the milkweed plant, which they use to feed on and to lay their eggs on The migration is an inherited trait No butterfly lives to make the full round trip, and it is unclear how they find their way back to the same patches of pine forest in Mexico each year. Monarch butterflies feeding on milkweed, a plant key to the butterflies’ migration Monarch Butterflies mass along a dry stream bed in the Sierra Pellon mountain at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Sierra Pellon, Michoacan State Monarch Butterflies mass along the path in the Sierra Pellon mountain at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve Monarch butterflies rest on pine trees in the Rosario Butterfly Reserve, Michoacan. The butterflies are counted by the surface area they cover Monarch Butterflies take to the skies in the Sierra Chincua Butterfly Sanctuary, Angangueo, Mexico In Mexico,illegal logging has remained a problem. It more than tripled in the monarch butterflies’ wintering grounds in 2014, reversing several years of steady improvement in the insects’ numbers Colorful Monarch Butterflies migrate south for the winter from the USA and Canada and all three countries are working to conserve the animals Clusters of Monarch butterflies on the pine tree. According to experts, Monarchs must reach a much larger population size to be resilient to ever-increasing threats Butterflies rest on a pine tree in Mexico. The forest canopy acts as a blanket against the cold for butterflies forming huge clumps on branches during their winter stay An armed guard protecting monarch butterflies during their winter season in Michoacan, Mexico A tourist photographing Monarch butterflies, which have partly increased in number over the last couple of years thanks to more favorable weather conditions along the monarch’s migratory routes Related PostsThe Ring-Necked Snake (Diadophis Punctatus)Playful Polar Bears having fun in the field of Wild FlowersTorngat Mountains National Park Canada The Mystery of Oregon’s Vanishing “Lost Lake”The Semi Transparent Flying Gurnard FishBracken Bat Colony: The Largest Aggregations of Mammals on EarthThe Pudu, Smallest Deer in the WorldThe Pisgah Crater, California Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.