Although certain animals are indeed native to a particular country or region, these creatures often migrate a lot, too. Whether in search of a new habitat or food, animals travel several miles for different reasons. However, some animals have covered distances that others can only dream of. This article is dedicated to those incredible migrations. Here are five of these impressive animal migrations.
Salmon: All for the next generation
For salmon, the main purpose of migrating is reproduction. They migrate to look for a particular species to mate with and river for spawning. You’re probably wondering how far a salmon can travel.
They travel up to 1,000 miles in the ocean and hundreds of miles in inland freshwaters during their migration, navigating with the earth’s magnetic field. Interestingly, they find their way back home with their sense of smell.
Monarch Butterflies: Passing the migratory baton
You’re probably surprised to find butterflies on this list, but they migrate a lot, too. From North America, monarch butterflies often migrate to Mexico or California. This migration spans over 3,000 miles.
The amazing thing about their migration is that these butterflies, also called wanderer butterflies in Australia and New Zealand, pass the baton to the next generations. Their long migration might involve up to four generations.
Baleen Whales: Always covering great distance
Baleen whales, just like many other sea creatures, migrate for procreation. However, they also often swim to the colder Arctic waters for feeding. Well, the distance these creatures cover is what makes them outstanding.
Giant baleen whales travel thousands of miles on their annual migratory journeys. The gray whale, a species of baleen whale, travels between 10,000 and 14,000 miles during migration. To mate, they often migrate to warmer waters.
Caribou: Setting the pace for other terrestrials
Of all terrestrial mammals, the caribou in North America has traveled the farthest. During the winter, these animals migrate to denser forests for feeding purposes. However, in summer, they migrate to calving grounds.
With herds consisting of up to 197,000 members, the caribou migrate over 830 miles annually. Due to climate change, the timing and direction of their migration might change.
Birds: We know they fly, but not this far!
Generally, birds migrate for food and better locations for nesting. Several bird species- about 4,000 species- migrate regularly. One of the most amazing bird migrations is that of penguins since they travel through the ocean and on foot.
Adélie penguins can travel up to 10,000 miles due to climate change effects. Another impressive migratory bird is the godwit. Bar-tailed godwits cover a distance of over 6,800 miles in nine days between New Zealand and China- theirs is the longest nonstop flight!