Monarch Butterfly Winter Changes

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Monarch Butterfly Winter Changes

In colder winter areas Monarch Butterflies become sluggish, and they do not reproduce. Because they are cold blooded, when the air temperatures become cooler difficult butterfly habitat challenges are presented. The butterfly stores fat in its stomach for the winter period of lessened activity. Although Monarch butterflies are very susceptible to damage during freezing temperatures, if their delicate wings remain dry they can withstand brief freezing periods. While residing at their winter migratory locations they tend to cluster together roosting in trees, but during the summer season they spread out over very large areas.

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When the Monarchs begin to sense a drop in temperatures they begin their long journey south for the winter. The Rocky Mountains seem to be the dividing line separating their final destinations. The population residing east of these mountains migrates to portions of Florida, the coastal areas of Texas, and mostly to Mexico. Check out migration maps. The Monarch Butterflies from western Canada and the United States migrate to the coastal section of central California, a little north of San Francisco to the southern fringes of Los Angeles. The areas of Santa Cruz and also Pacific Grove are especially known for huge gatherings of migrating Monarch Butterflies.

Monarch Butterfly Winter Changes

Although not as active during the winter migratory period, during sunny periods they will flutter away from their protective shelters seeking some sweet flower nectar. The butterflies will depart their winter habitat in late winter or early spring every year, returning north to the same spot they had originated from. Apparently in a hurry to get back they fly up to 30 miles per hour!

Monarch Butterfly Winter Changes
Monarch Butterfly Winter Changes

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