Species Spotlight: Monarch Butterfly

monarch butterfly on a flower

Questions and Answers

Why do monarch butterflies migrate?
The butterflies migrate from the United States and Canada to central Mexico to hibernate in mountain forests, where a milder climate provides them a better chance for survival.

How many generations of monarch butterflies does it take to make the southbound annual migration of 2,800 miles or more to Mexico?
A single generation performs the incredible feat of migrating from Southeast Canada and the Northeast United States to central Mexico to hibernate during the winter.

How many generations does it take to complete the return journey north?
At the beginning of spring, the same generation starts the return migration all the way to Texas, where they lay their eggs. The next three to five generations will continue to fly North to complete their journey.



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