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Cape May in Cape May County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Fragile Flyers

Monarch Butterfly Migration

 

—Wildlife Migration —

 
Fragile Flyers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 27, 2009
1. Fragile Flyers Marker
Inscription. September winds from the north and northwest gently push millions of migrating monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) to the Atlantic coast. Many are funneled southward through the Cape May peninsula. Thus begins the 2000-mile journey to their winter home in the forests of the Sierra Madre Mountains of central Mexico.

The following spring they mate, the males die, and the females journey back to North America, laying eggs on the milkweed plants as they go. They may travel as far north as the Gulf coast states before they too die. The next generation continues the northward migration until once again, the monarchs repopulate the entire region of the milkweed plant.

Four to five generations may live and reproduce throughout the summer. However, the last generation, along with all the other monarchs from eastern North America, seek refuge from the cold of winter and begin the migration cycle once again.
 
Erected by State of New Jersey – Division of Parks & Forestry.
 
Location. 38° 55.939′ N, 74° 57.574′ W. Marker is in Cape May, New Jersey, in Cape May County. Marker can be reached from Lighthouse Avenue, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in Cape May Point
Fragile Flyers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 27, 2009
2. Fragile Flyers Marker
The Fragile Flyers marker is part of the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route.
State Park, near the museum at the south end of the parking lot. Marker is in this post office area: Cape May Point NJ 08212, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Swarms of Dragonflies (a few steps from this marker); Flipper and Friends (within shouting distance of this marker); All Shapes, Sizes and Materials (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Cape May Lighthouse (about 300 feet away); What is it? (about 400 feet away); Oil House (about 400 feet away); Shorebirds Galore (about 400 feet away); Ridges, Rivers and Coastlines (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Cape May.
 
More about this marker. Several photographs appear along the bottom of the marker. The first contains the caption, “Large concentrations of migrating monarch butterflies occur in areas rich in wildflowers.”
Nest to this are photos of a researcher and a closeup of a monarch, and include a caption of “Researchers, such as this one at Cape May Bird Observatory (left), catch and tag butterflies. A tagged monarch (above) may be identified at other points in its journey by those studying their migratory patterns.”
The last photo depict a caterpillar on a milkweed plant and has a caption of “Toxins
Marker in Cape May Point State Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 27, 2009
3. Marker in Cape May Point State Park
The Fragile Flyers marker is seen here to the left of Visitor Center. The Cape May Lighthouse is also visible in the background.
from the milkweed plant (Asclepias syriaca) are ingested by the monarch caterpillar and carried into the adult stage. The toxins make the monarch distasteful to predators who may decide to prey upon it.”
 
Also see . . .  New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route. National Park Service website. (Submitted on June 30, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. AnimalsScience & Medicine
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 321 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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