Here we call them Wanderers rather than Monarchs. They were first recorded in Victoria, one of the southern States, in 1870 and are regular visitors wherever the common milkweed (swan plants) grow. However because they are an introduced species there is no protection or encouragement for them. In fact they are becoming more rare as the food plants are removed as weeds.
I started raising them about 25 years ago when there were more around. I grow the plants, but often a series of summers will pass with no butterflies. This year there were so many, - very few were parasitized, many pupated and emerged successfully and there were butterflies everywhere. I brought many caterpillars inside to watch their development, and set up a rather magnificent enclosure for the butterflies. It is now well into Austumn but because it's unseasonably warm the butterflies are still mating and laying.
I'd hoped to keep a breeding colony alive to release in Spring. Absolute failure! One by one they all died. It wasn't until I discovered this site that I realized I was attempting the impossible as they were simply living out their normal lifespan in the controlled temperature of the enclosure. I should have just released the poor things.
I am so glad that the forum exists: I have had to learn by my mistakes which is such an inefficient way of learning! I'm very happy to be able to read the experiences of other people interested in these marvellous creatures, and to learn from them.