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Cautious optimism as monarch butterflies begin to appear in California

Credit: Bryan E. Reynolds

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 Societyin 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

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.