Each year, monarch butterflies make an epic migration that spans the United States and Mexico. The Xerces Society wanted a custom map to display their monarch migration data for both the East and West Coast monarch butterfly populations. The map needed to display seasonal migration patterns without the use of seasonal colors and present a wide variety of data 1) as accurately as possible and 2) in a manner that would still be easy for non-scientific audiences to digest.
I created a readable North American map base by blending a boundary map with a relief map, then represented seasonal migration using a red-orange-yellow color scheme to represent the outward migration of butterflies from their starting point (Mexico). Atypical areas are represented in blue and purple. The boundaries are based as closely as possible on data provided by Xerces Society conservation staff.
Note: map copyright The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. All data was provided by Xerces Society conservation staff.