I just received my first newsletter for the Monarch Watch Migration/Tagging of 2010 from Monarch Watch.org (http://www.monarchwatch.org/). You can sign up for their email list on the same page.
So as not to plagiarize, I’ll summarize what I thought were interesting notes from the newsletter.
They (the Monarch Watch folks) estimate that 50% of the population died during the winter in the Mexico over-wintering locations. However, based on favorable conditions during the Spring in Texas, the first generation Monarchs colonized much of the northern breeding areas. That’s good news. The newsletter goes on to mention that Monarchs reaching the northeastern areas (New England and New York) appear to be below average. So, the prediction from Monarch Watch is that Monarchs is that they are making a modest recovery, and that the overwintering population will be close to 3 hectares (versus the 1.92 hectares observed this past winter, and the overall average of 7.44 hectares from 1994-2010.)
You can read more about the predictions and such at http://monarchwatch.org/blog/
Speaking of Monarch Watch, these are also the folks that sell the tagging kits for the Monarch Fall Migration. Leecy and I have never tagged Monarchs before. I ordered 500 tags, so we’ll see how it goes. This has been the worst year for Monarchs for me personally. Hopefully we’ll see lots of them this Fall.
Based on my Latitude of 30 degrees, we should expect to see the Fall migrating Monarchs at their midpoint around October 15, with the peak migration between Oct 10-Oct 25 or so.
To find out more of the peak migration dates for Monarchs in your visit these two sites, Monarch Watch http://monarchwatch.org/tagmig/peak.html and Journey North http://www.learner.org/jnorth/monarch/fall2009/News.html.
Heck, just for fun, calculate your own peak migration dates and send them to me. You can either post them in the comments section, or just send me an email. I’ll compile all the stuff you send and include it in a future post.