Tag: Drew Monkman

Image: Richiebits
Animals Science

Unlocking The Mysteries Of The Monarch Butterfly’s Incredible Journey

Every year, Monarch butterflies fly more than 4,000 kilometres from Canada to Mexico.

Until recently, no-one was sure how the Monarch butterfly knew the exact path to take that would ensure it would end up at its intended destination after such a long flight.

Now Canadian scientists believe they have discovered the secret to the butterfly’s internal sense of direction.

Scientists wanted to know if the Monarchs used a type of “internal compass” or an “internal map.” Some animals and birds have both.

To find out, researchers tested the butterflies by starting them different locations than they normally would. Ryan Norris, an associate professor of biology at the University of Guelph, started them on their journey from Guelph, Ontario and Calgary, Alberta.

Red Admiral Butterfly
Animals News Science

Millions Of Butterflies In Ontario And Eastern Canada

If you were sitting outside on April 16 in Eastern North America, you may have seen a wondrous site. That day, millions of Red Admiral butterflies flew in – or perhaps “blew in” – from the southern United States.

Drew Monkman is a local natualist (“nature watcher”) and writer, living in Peterborough, Ont. He tracks the habits of animals including butterflies.

He told TKN that the April 16 migration was “completely unprecedented. (The Red Admiral has) never been seen in these kinds of numbers.”

He said on that day there were probably several million butterflies, most of them Red Admiral, but there were other species as well.

Drew Monkman is a naturalist and butterfly expert living in Peterborough, Ont.
Why did this happen? This year in the southern United States like Texas, where the butterflies began their journey, the winter was “amazingly mild,” said Monkman. This allowed more butterflies to survive the winter and reproduce.