First, watch this video on Monarch Butterfiles, then do the activity below:
Directions: What is happening to the monarch populations around North America? Let’s analyze the data and find out for ourselves. Your job is to look at the data from one single site and then report back to the class at the end of the period.
Scientists count monarchs at migration sites every winter. The data from western sites are available on the monarchprogram.org website. Pick one site. Look at the data from 1997 through this year. Now answer these questions:
What is the name of the site you picked?
What was the population in 1997?
What is the population this year?
Has the population increased or decreased?
Has it gone down each year or has it gone up and down a lot over time?
If there are less than 50 individuals remaining in your area, we can consider that the population has crashed. Meaning it is in danger of disappearing. Has your population crashed?
Has your population disappeared entirely?
Now, let’s look at the site itself. Click this link and locate your site. Remember, they are listed by county in the state of California. Scroll down and study the road and satellite maps for your area. Now answer these questions:
Is there development (things human beings have made, like roads and houses) in the area that might hurt the monarchs? If so, what kind of development?
Are there things humans have done in the area which might help the monarchs? What are those things?