Every winter, the cloud forests in the mountains of central Mexico play host to millions and millions of over-wintering monarch butterflies. The annual migration of these monarchs from the Great Lakes region is one of nature’s greatest mysteries. Incredibly, four to five generations separate the monarch populations that make this long and dangerous migration. The monarchs creating the spectacle in Mexico are the great, great grandchildren of the generation that migrated there the year before. Seeing the sheer abundance of monarchs, bending oyamel fir branches with their weight and sounding like raindrops as they take to the air, is a wildlife encounter not to be missed.
Sarada Krishnan, Director of Horticulture at Denver Botanic Gardens, is accompanying the group on this trip to Mexico. Sarada has an extensive background in horticulture and butterfly ecology. She served as the Director of Horticulture and Conservation at the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster, Colorado for six years and she is also the author and publisher of “Butterfly Pavilion’s Butterfly Gardening: A Guide for Colorado Gardeners”. Sarada’s depth of knowledge, enthusiasm, and passion are sure to make for an unforgettable experience for travelers joining her in Michoacan.
For a detailed itinerary, please visit Reefs to Rockies’ website ( http://www.reefstorockies.com/pdfs/R2RMonarchs-of-Michoacan-with-SaradaKrishnan.pdf).
For a great article on monarch migration, check out the July/August 2009 edition of Audubon magazine ( http://audubonmagazine.org/features0907/pullout-wildlifeSpectacle.html).