Drought Hinders Butterfly Migration

Millions of monarch butterflies are on the move as they make a difficult trip through Texas, migrating to Mexico in spite of the drought.

It's the fall blooms that draw monarch butterflies to gardens in Spicewood, TX

Fall blooms draw monarch butterflies to gardens in Spicewood, TX, which acts as a sort of refueling station for the insects. Mike Quinn tracks their journey each year.

“They’re riding the cold fronts, as we’re having today,” Quinn said. “This is great monarch moving weather, so to speak, and in between the cold fronts in the fall they’re searching for nectar.”

The nectar is the fuel needed on their yearly trip south, but the drought means bountiful gardens are few and far between.

Most monarchs have already made it through Texas, but here and there you will find a few stragglers. They move from the upper Midwest, through the Great Plains, Texas and central Mexico each fall.

“It’s like running a transcontinental marathon and then having a baby at the end, a very unique migration pattern. No other insect on the planet does this,” Quinn said.

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