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22 Oct

The Monarch Butterfly in Mexico

La Mariposa Monarca en MéxicoThe Monarch Butterfly in Mexico, in addition to its great beauty, is characterized by its resistance and longevity. While other species of butterflies have a life cycle of 24 days, the monarch lives up to nine months, that is, 12 times more.

Taking advantage of these characteristics, the Monarch Butterfly is capable of traveling more than 4,000 kilometers (from Canada and the United States of America) to the oyameles forests of the states of Michoacán de Ocampo and Mexico, an area considered as a natural heritage site.

The life of adult Monarch butterflies lasts four to five weeks for the generations that are born during the spring and summer (they will spend their entire lives in the north). However, generations that are born in September or early October, give rise to winter adults, whose life span increases from six to seven months. The decrease of the temperature and the periods of sunlight determine that they delay their sexual maturity from six to seven months approximately, entering into a reproductive pause. It is at this time that the monarch butterfly route begins

Every year, between October and March, the monarch butterfly in Mexico finds in the forests the ideal conditions to develop and mate: altitude, temperature, humidity and exposure to sunlight, among others.

They travel around 120 kilometers per day and make their trip in 33 days, approximately. At the end of March, when they reach maturity, they undertake their return trip to the northern countries.

The sanctuaries of the monarch butterfly in Mexico can be found at:

  • Cerro Altamirano
  • Cerro Pelón
  • Sierra Chincua
  • Sierra del Campanario
  • Cerro Picacho
  • Chivati-Huacal

Sources

www.cuentame.inegi.org.mx

www.makewayformonarchs.org

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