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Why do Monarchs Migrate?
Monarchs migrate around October, sometimes earlier if the weather gets colder sooner, to escape the cold. Their delicate bodies cannot survive in the cold climate. Also, the larval food plants they utilize don’t grow in that cold climate. Because of these two main reasons, they migrate south, usually to Mexico or Southern California to warmer weather. The entire journey is estimated to be about 2,500 miles. You can visit MonarchWatch to access an abundance of information and statistics to keep track of the monarchs and how they’re doing. They also offer visual resources with color-coded maps to enhance understanding.
Threats to the Monarch Migration
A major threat to the Monarch’s migration pattern is climate change. According to WorldWildLife, the Monarch numbers in Mexico in 2013 were at their lowest observed point in over 20 years. A big factor in this threat is the unusual weather patterns, especially droughts and excessive rainfall. The droughts and rainfall impact the lives of the Monarchs prior to their migration. Many of the caterpillar’s food sources are decreasing in availability, in turn, diminishing the Monarch’s numbers.