‘Good start’ to monarch season at Point Pelee


It’s monarch migration season and the butterflies are flocking to Point Pelee National Park, stopping on their way south towards Mexico. 

Park interpreter Sarah Rupert said there have already been thousands of monarchs spotted at the tip. 

“It’s been a good start to the year. Last week we had about 4,000 and a [few] nights ago we had about 5,000,” said Rupert.

Whether or not that trend continues through the rest of the monarch migratory season — about mid-October — will depend on the weather, said Rupert. 

“Butterflies are so small, they very much depend on wind and are affected by the weather.”

A study published in August pointed to a boost in monarch populations, attributing more monarchs to warm temperatures in Texas this spring. 

Over the last two decades, monarch numbers have dropped and the butterfly is classified as a special concern species under the province’s endangered species act. 

“Over the summer, I’ve heard a lot more people talk about seeing monarchs,” said Rupert. “That’s encouraging news.”

How long monarchs might stay at the point is the million-dollar-question, said Rupert. 

“Sometimes the night, sometimes a few days.”

Rupert said first thing in the morning is the best time to see the monarchs — and the park has adjusted its hours to accommodate. 

“If you can get down there on the first shuttle of the day you can see the butterflies possibly leaving,”

Adjusted hours of operation will be posted on Point Pelee’s Facebook page.

There’s nothing we love more at CBC Windsor than monarch photos! Share yours by emailing windsor@cbc.ca or send them to us on social media. 

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