Monarch Butterflies: “The Winged Wonders of the Insect World”
On Tuesday, January 12th, at 3:00 PM the Audubon Society of San Miguel
will host Bob Graham's annual and consistently popular slide show,
“Monarchs, Butterﬂies Without Borders,” at the Santa Ana theater in the Biblioteca. Graham is a retired naturalist from Parks Canada and his slide show details the life cycle of the Monarch Butterﬂy and its fantastic yearly migration from the milkweed ﬁelds of the northern United States and Canada to Mexico. Graham is also very knowledgeable about the problems threatening the very survival of the endangered phenomenon that is the Monarch, both in Mexico and in the north.
Scientists believe that Monarch Butterﬂies (Danaus plexippus) belong to a family whose
evolutionary origins are tropical. None of this family is able to tolerate freezing at any
stage of their life cycle so they cannot winter in the north. Nevertheless, over tens of
thousands of years, Monarchs have extended their breeding territory into the extensive
milkweed ﬁelds of the United States and Canada. In the winter, they must get out.
Accordingly, each fall, like many Canadian and American humans, Monarchs abandon their northern homes and head south. Exactly what triggers this exodus among Monarchs in time to save them is uncertain, but decreasing hours of daylight and cooler temperatures almost certainly play a major role.
The Monarchs' ﬁnal destination is high in the mountains that make up the Sierra de Angengueo in the State of Michoacan, only a half-day's drive south of San Miguel de Allende. A short journey for humans, but a very long one for Monarchs--for some of these tiny, exquisite butterflies, their journey spans much of North America.
Given the size of this dainty creature, this migration is one of the most perilous and spectacular in the world. Their trek and the insects' beautiful, jade colored, bejeweled chrysalis have made Monarch Butterﬂies one of the most popular of North American insects, to the extent that there is a move afoot (a-wing?) to make them the National Insect of the United States.
Audubon is also leading another of its famous trips for humans to the Monarchs' migratory home on January 28th and 29th--very soon. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so if you are interested, sign up soon. For more information on the trip, email Linda Whynman at email@example.com.
Audubon members can attend the Monarch presentation at no charge, as they can all Audubon presentations. For others, tickets (50 pesos) can be purchased at the event. Another alternative is to join the Audubon Society then and there (400 pesos) and attend the Monarch talk free. All proceeds, in any case, go to the Sociedad Audubon de México A.C. For additional information please call Bob Graham at 154 - 9856.
Tuesday, 12 January, 2010
Cost:free to members; 60 pesos for others
Phone: 152 5259
Website: Click to Visit