How do monarch butterflies travel so far?
Monarch butterflies are unique — they’re the only butterfly to travel thousands of miles when the seasons change. They travel from as far north as Canada all the way down to a few very specific mountaintops in central Mexico.
They don’t have a car, or an airplane ticket. They just have their two little wings. So we’re asking: How do they do it? How do they migrate thousands of miles? And why?
We’ll also look at why other insects don’t have to travel south for the winter — hint: it has to do with something in their blood. Of course, we have a mystery sound for you to decipher, too.
Find out more about Flight of the Butterflies, the IMAX 3D film discussed in the show.
Be a citizen scientist!
By using your skills of observation you can help scientists figure out a lot about monarchs — like how many there are, when they’re migrating, and if they’re being attacked by parasites.
Here’s a list of places to get started:
• The nationwide The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project based at the University of Minnesota
• You can report your observations to Journey North about monarchs, and also hummingbirds, bald eagles and other wildlife
• Help the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County track monarchs, as well as spiders, geckos, zombie flys and ladybugs
• Collect samples of monarch parasites for MonarchHealth
Sound effects in this episode provided by freeSFX