oyamel forest

clustered for warmth in their wintering site high in the oyamel fir forests of Michoacán, Mexico. During the first two weeks of March the monarchs leave these winter sanctuaries in Mexico and begin their migration back to the Gulf Coast of the United States. They will then search for milkweed which is the only food plant that the monarch caterpillar can eat. These newly returned monarchs will then lay their eggs on the milkweed and die. It is only the third or fourth generation later in the same season, that will return to Mexico. Sadly, the monarch butterfly is in trouble. Monarch populations are declining at an alarming rate. The combination of illegal logging in Mexico, droughts, wildfires and the continuing loss of their crucial milkweed habitat in the United States. The North American monarch population has declined by 90% over the past two decades.