Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Monarch Populations

From Monarch Watch Newsletter from Jim Lovett.

Gerber Baby Food Containers Used As Monarch Rearing Chambers

Do you or someone you know use Gerber's "2nd Foods" Baby Food packs - the larger, 3.5-ounce containers? If you have access to a supply of these empty containers, consider sending them to us (please rinse them first!) for reuse as monarch rearing chambers. Complete details, photos, etc. are available here.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Monarch on Joe Pye Weed
Status of the Monarch Population

As many of you know, the fall monarch migration is well underway. In July when I wrote the text for the Premigration Newsletter (available for download at it was already clear that the fall migration would be modest and certainly no larger than the migrations we have seen for the last several years. It is now clear that the migration this year will be smaller than any seen since the fall of 2004, a migration that resulted in an all-time low overwintering population in Mexico of 2.19 hectares.

The overwintering population this winter will probably be less than 4 hectares and could be much less if the long term drought that has persisted in much of Texas and northeastern Mexico doesn't abate. Monarchs are highly dependent on nectar and sources of water to fuel the migration through this region in October and November and, if the drought persists and nectar resources are scarce during this period, the number of monarchs reaching the overwintering sites will be reduced. There have been some recent rains in Texas but it is not yet clear whether these rains have been sufficient or widespread enough to provide the fall flowers needed by the monarchs.

Monarch Watch Rearing Kits

If you need monarch larvae or pupae for educational programs or display, please visit the Monarch Watch Shop ( for these and other educational or promotional materials. We have developed a new rearing method for monarchs and can easily supply monarchs on a year-round basis.

Get more information about Monarchs at the Monarch Watch website.

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