We wrote at the beginning of September about the migration of the Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) to Mexico. During our online research, we found Phil Torres http://www.phil-torres.com/journal a biologist, Science Advocate and Story Teller. One of Phil's passions is butterflies. He has journeyed to Sierra Chincua Reserve, Mexico, 10,500 ft. above sea level to research and film the over 140 million butterflies found in this mountain range. His video, the filming of millions of butterflies and their sound is well worth watching and listening to. The link below tells the story.
We found this informative video about the butterfly migration south.
Bob has also journeyed to El Rosario/El Campanario and Sierra Chincua in Mexico to see and experience the migration of the Monarch butterflies approximately 10 years ago. Below is an excerpt written by Bob enlightening us about the discovery of the Monarch's winter home.
Dr. Fred Urquhart, a zoologist at the University of Toronto informed the world in his 1976 article that he had found the wintering grounds of the Monarch butterfly. Forty years earlier Urquhart started his life-long search for the missing Monarchs developing tagging methods along with his wife Norah and other friends to follow them on their migration. In 1952 he wrote an article on tagging Monarchs and appealed for volunteers. By 1965 the program gained momentum and financial grants.
The break came in February 1973 when Ken Brugger, an American living in Mexico City offered to help. He crisscrossed the Mexican countryside in his motor home with his dog, Kola, searching for Monarchs and following up on any leads received by the local Mexicans. By late 1974 Brugger and his new wife Cathy wrote of finding many dead and tattered butterflies along the roads in a small area of Mexico. Then on January 9, 1975 Brugger telephoned the Urquharts with great excitement with the news that he had found the colony of Monarchs, millions of monarchs, in evergreen trees beside a mountain clearing. One year later the Urquharts visited the site along with the Bruggers and the National Geographic team and wrote the article in the August 1976 issue, informing the world of the news. Bob Bowles
Photo Credit Bob Bowles
Monarchs on flowers Chincua
Clusters of Monarchs on trees
Chincua trail riders
We know by mid-September the Monarch butterflies have left our region for warmer climates. And our minds are elsewhere focused on our children starting school and autumn just around the corner. But we wanted one more chance to write and share about the Monarchs wintering grounds and just how amazing these small creatures are. We will look forward to their return next spring.
The ongoing miracles of nature never cease to astonish those curious about our natural world.
Photo Credit Roth Media