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North Florida Monarch Overwintering Count

Friday, January 24th, 2014 at 4:55 pm by Monarch Watch
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DO MONARCH BUTTERFLIES
OVERWINTER ALONG THE GULF COAST OF NORTHERN FLORIDA?
FINAL REPORT OF THE 2013 MONARCH OVERWINTERING COUNTS

Richard G. RuBino
August 2013

Summary: For years monarchs have been seen along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico during January and February, but few attempts to document these sightings have been made. In recognition of this need, a count was undertaken in January and February 2013 to determine the degree of overwintering, if any, along the coast of the eastern end of the Florida Panhandle. The project focused on two questions: do monarch butterflies overwinter along the northern Gulf coast and does milkweed survive northern Gulf coast winters? Sub-questions included: if so, where and at what intensities? The answer to both questions is yes — sometimes. The study found both monarchs and milkweed across the entire length of a four-county coastal area, but the survival of the former is highly dependent on the benevolence of mankind.

Full Text (19-page PDF file): FINAL REPORT OF THE 2013 MONARCH OVERWINTERING COUNTS

Map 1 (PDF file): Observed Locations of Milkweed in the Big Bend of Florida, January-February 2013

Map 2 (PDF file): Observed Locations of Monarchs in the Big Bend of Florida, January-February 2013

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