The Monarch Butterfly
& Other Insect Pollinators
Texas is an important state in monarch migration because it is situated between the principal breeding grounds in the north and the overwintering areas in Mexico. Monarchs funnel through Texas both in the fall and the spring. During the fall, monarchs use two principal flyways. One traverses Texas in a 300-mile wide path stretching from Wichita Falls to Eagle Pass. Monarchs enter the Texas portion of this flyway during the last days of September. By early November, most have passed through into Mexico. The second flyway is situated along the Texas coast and lasts roughly from the third week of October to the middle of November. Early each March overwintering monarchs begin arriving from their overwintering grounds in Mexico. Seeking emerging milkweeds, they move through Texas laying eggs before dying. Their offspring continue heading north, leaving most of Texas behind, the first of several new generations of monarchs that re-populate the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada.
Management Recommendations for Native Insect Pollinators in Texas PDF
Practices that benefit ecosystems for native pollinators.
Texas Monarch and Native Pollinator Conservation Plan PDF
TPWD’s contribution to monarch and native pollinator conservation.
How you can help protect monarchs
Texas Pollinator Bioblitz
- Observe and identify pollinators.
- Share observations by posting to Instagram or iNaturalist.
- Participate in daily observation challenges.
Report Monarch Sightings
Report observations of migrating, roosting and breeding butterflies to real-time migration maps.
Find Regional Pollinator Plants
Find regional recommendations for pollinator plants and conservations guides.
Over 35 different milkweed species have been recorded from Texas. This guide provides species-specific information regarding identification and range for milkweed in the state.
Monitor Monarch Larva
Developed to collect long-term data on larval monarch populations and milkweed habitat.
Find Citizen Science Opportunities
Citizen scientists collect data during all phases of the annual life cycle of monarch breeding, migrating and overwintering.