Cape May's Monarch Migration
Now is the time to witness monarch migration through Cape May Point, New Jersey! The Monarch Monitoring Project "is a research and education program focusing on the fall migration of monarch butterflies along the Atlantic coast." This year's count is reporting the highest numbers of monarchs seen on the coast in the past four years. Join in on the excitement, head out to the shore, and witness a small stop on these butterflies' journey along the coast.
As specialists, Monarch caterpillars (Danaus plexippus) feed exclusively on milkweed species and could not persist without this native host plant. The energy stores provided by milkweed plants fuel the caterpillars' emergence to adulthood. The fourth and fifth generations of these butterflies take on a cross-country migration to overwintering sites in Mexico. Nectar provided by native fall pollinator plants, such as Solidago sp., are essential to fuel this journey. By incorporating milkweed species and late season pollinator plants into our designs, Refugia's landscapes support the Monarch lifecycle by providing breeding grounds, larval habitat, and refuges along their migratory journeys.