A highlight from Sonia Altizer: What Can We Learn From The Migration Of Monarch Butterflies?
On the show today migration and up until now we've been talking about human migration but of course humans aren't the only animals that migrate. There are many hundreds if not thousands of species of birds that migrate there's caribou across. Canada will the beast. in africa. There are migratory fish like salmon and also a lot of marine animals migrate long distances like sea turtles and whales. But right now. Let's turn our attention to the humble but tenacious monarch butterfly i think of monarch says the tanks of the butterfly world so small they weigh only a half a gram but they can travel thousands of kilometers in the wild. This is sonia altuzar An ecologist at the university of georgia. So i study. The ecology of animal migration and sonya says monarch are different because their migration is multi generational. So this same monarch never makes the journey twice. It's their grand offspring and great grand offspring of the migratory generation that will migrate again the following year sonya's specifically talking about a migration path east of the rocky mountains. These monarchs travel thousands of miles across international borders every year. Ecologists think they're looking for the precious milkweed plant in arguably the most important driver for them is food and especially milkweed plants where the females can lay their eggs. Another reason why they migrate is to ride out the winter in the sierra madre mountains near mexico city so there might be ten million butterflies or more in a single colony