Travelling The Distance – Seasonal Migration

Posted in Wildlife A-Z | September 28, 2010 | Comment Now

Well, look around you, and you’ll notice it’s that time of the year when the leaves are going to fall off the trees and the days are going to grow shorter and the weather will only get cooler from here. Animals all over the world will also fall into their set of seasonal migrations. Well, and unlike what you may have wrongly believed, there are more than just the birds who make the journey.

There are a number of mammals and insects that are known to migrate during this time. Here we take you along the path of a few of the biggest or the farthest travelling, oddest of the lot, movers and shakers when it comes to the animal kingdom.

The Monarch of Beautiful Masses, Monarch Butterflies:

The Monarch butterflies that live east of the Rocky Mountains are known to migrate every fall. They make their journey to the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico. The Monarchs living west of Rocky Mountain would travel to the warmer climate of California.  Monarchs are said to be the only butterflies that are used to a two-way migration. This would mean that, just like birds, they will also return to their original homes. They are known to be capable of flying about 3000 miles during their migration phase and can actually gain weight along the way since they’ll be feeding on nectar.

The Tale of the Whale, Humpback Whale:

Come early fall and the humpback whales will begin to migrate to Mexico, Hawaii and Japan from Alaska. Within a span of about four to eight weeks, they’ll cover about 3500 miles. It is named ‘Kohola’ in Hawaiian and this whale will spend the winter indulging in breeding activities and will give birth before even returning Alaska to feed. The summer months in Arctic are appropriate for the growth of Krill, which is the favorite food source of the humpbacks.

Loving the Summer Days, Arctic Terns:

Arctic Terns are said to migrate about 44,000 miles in a year, as they cover the journey from Arctic to Antarctica and travel back. Arctic terns are said to have the longest migration route that any animal can have; and their journey will allow them to see at least 2 summers in each year.

Wintering in the Warm Springs, Manatees:

Manatees are known to migrate from their habitats when the temperature dips below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They could go as far as Virginia. During the winter months, however, they will prefer seeking shelter in the warmer Florida Springs.

Walking in Herds, North American Caribou:

The North American Caribou (also known as the reindeer) would migrate due to their hunt for warmer climates and food. Their migratory distance would depend on the size and speed of the herd and could range anywhere between 100 to 3000 miles in a single year. The larger the herd, the longer will be their migration.

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