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 State of Monarch Report from the Xcerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation (Xerces.org) website. Scroll down to page 12 of the report. Pick one site. Look at the data from 1997 through 2014. Now answer these questions:
What is the name of the site you picked?
What was the current population?
By how much has the population decreased?
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?
Now, let’s look at the site itself. Scroll down in the report 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?