Monarch butterfly migration patterns during the fall season.
Grand Rapids, MI (WZZM) - Monarch butterflies are very unique creatures.
Every spring, millions of these insects fly north; and every fall, their offspring retrace that path.
You've probably seen a few flying around your backyard... but did you know that they only stick around for a few months?
This is the only insect known to migrate annually and mid-September happens to be peak time for west Michigan!
Dan Hemmann, John Ball Zoo Keeper and Entomologist explained, "Most insects do have a way to over-winter either as, usually either as eggs or as pupa and then they emerge in the spring but, Monarchs are pretty vulnerable because all the Monarchs in the entire United States go to certain small areas in Mexico where they over-winter and these sites are very unique and specialized. If those sites are disturbed, we may lose Monarchs up here in Michigan."
There are programs that aid in tracking the Monarch Butterflies as they travel over 2,500 miles over the span of six weeks.
You can check out monarchwatch.org for more information and if you'd like to help with the tracking effort and purchase a tagging kit, click here.