Butterfly scientist Professor Taylor runs Monarch Watch, which is involved in the tagging and tracking of Monarchs. In March, Grant and Jody from Team WOtM accompanied him into the dense firs that surround Cincua in Mexico to witness the stunning spectacle of these butterflies. They filed three reports from Cincua that are available to read here.
In this week's programme, Brett speaks to Professor Taylor and discovers that the Monarchs are now edging into Oklahoma. Because this migration is a relay race (it takes 4 generations of Monarchs to make the "there-and-back" migration) the butterflies there are now mating, dying and laying eggs so that the next generation can fulfil their natural obligation to reach Canada.
This is trluy astonishing. Just how does an entire generation of newborns know exactly what they are supposed to do? What is it in their genetic make-up that compels them to fulfil this natural urge to just fly, nothing else just fly and fly to Canada? Although this could be a great opportunity to argue the merits of predestination, there are other more pressing concerns for Professor Chip, such as the over use of herbicides and insecticides that are destroying Monarch habitats.