Fun Fact Friday: Migration isn’t just for the birds. Globally, a multitude of insect species – driven by the same factors as birds – make marathon journeys each spring and fall. Dragonflies, butterflies and moths, grasshoppers, beetles… representatives from all these diverse group undertake the trials and tribulations of biannual migration.
Of all the migratory insect species, the most well-known hands-down is the Monarch Butterfly. Each September and October, eastern Monarchs endure a marathon migration down the Atlantic coast or central United States — 3,000 miles at its extreme extent — to spend the winter months in Mexico. In spring, they make a stepwise return trip north, mating, laying eggs, and dying over three to five generations until the last brood reaches summering grounds across the US and southern Canada.
NJ Audubon’s Monarch Monitoring Project (MMP) is a research and education program focused on the eastern Monarch’s fall migration along the Atlantic coast. Established in 1990, the project has three decades of data on Monarchs that move through Cape May. In an effort to contribute to Monarch conservation, we tag Monarchs that use the Institute’s gardens to fuel up and rest during their journey. This work is part of the larger tagging efforts of the Cape May MMP and international organization Monarch Watch. This massive citizen science effort is helping to ensure a healthy future for these incredible butterflies.
You can learn more about Monarch tagging here:
… and here: https://www.monarchwatch.org/
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