Cautious optimism as monarch butterflies begin to appear in California
The numbers of monarch butterflies migrating through California last year were flat-out awful.
The counts were 99.9% below the levels of the 1980s, bordering on extinction. So it takes only a small increase to provide a ray of hope, and the monarchs are providing one.
Preliminary visits of southbound butterflies show them in greater numbers, and in places that saw none a year ago.
The Xerces Society in Portland is a major player in monarch assistance; the society's Endangered Species Program Director, Sarina Jepsen, gives us details.
Link: if you're wondering where monarchs go, check out the Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper