The Spring Traveling Show
Where are all those animals going and where did they come from?
Seasonal conditions are the primary reason for animals to migrate. In the Spring sandhill cranes fly from wintering grounds in southern states such as Florida and southern New Mexico to more northerly climates in Canada and northern areas of the United States like Montana and Michigan, usually stopping over midway in states like southern Colorado and Indiana. The sandhill crane migration is an amazing trip, but not unique in the animal world.
One of the most amazing mass movements of any animal is the monarch butterfly migration, particularly the eastern population of North America. The eastern monarch overwinters in oyamel fir forests in just a few small mountain peaks in Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico from October to late March. As the days lengthen and the temperatures warm, they begin to migrate north again, some all the way to Maine and into Canada. It is the only butterfly that migrates both north and south as birds do. But unlike birds, no individual monarch makes the entire round trip. It takes up to four or five generations of monarchs to reach their destinations in North America and Canada.
Some animal migrations aren’t on such a grand, long-distance scale as the monarch butterfly. Some bison herds in Yellowstone National Park migrate in Spring from their wintering area in the lower valleys such as Lamar Valley to higher summer ranges of Mount Norris only 15 miles away. Actually considered a altitudinal migration, they nevertheless migrate to more suitable conditions when Spring and Fall come.
There are several ways to explore eLibrary about the migratory habits of birds, mammals, insects, and other animals. Using the simple search (1) “Animal Migration” on either the Basic or Advanced Search page is a good start. Sometimes limiting your publications choice (2), for example with Books, will help you focus you research and bring up valuable in-depth information. Browsing the Research Topics (3) at the Basic Search page for Animal Migration and Animal Behavior research topics are good next stop.
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