Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Fall 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Mathematics and Statistics


Anthony Tongen


The migration pattern of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) consists of a sequence of generations of butterflies that originate in Michoacan, Mexico each spring, travel as far north as Southern Canada, and ultimately return to the original location in Mexico the following fall. We use periodic population matrices to model the life cycle of the eastern monarch butterfly and find that, under this model, this migration is not currently at risk. We extend the model to address the three primary obstacles for the long-term survival of this migratory pattern: deforestation in Mexico, increased extreme weather patterns, and milkweed degradation.



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