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Thanksgiving Count of monarch butterflies shows uptick in numbers

Candace Fallon - Xerxes Society

Every year conservation groups and public agencies send people into the field to count monarch butterflies making their migration from northern climates to Mexico. The field work is done, but the tabulating will take a little longer.

The Thanksgiving Count, as it is known, ran from November 12 to December 4 this year, and early counts show numbers up for the butterflies, perhaps in the range of 300,000, better even than last year.

Which sounds good, but needs to be placed in the context of the overall sharp drop in monarch populations in recent years. Portland-based Xerces Society is a major player in the work to restore monarch populations; Emma Pelton visits once again with news of this year's findings.

Additional link: to iNaturalist.org, which provides many opportunities to interact with nature and provide citizen science.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.