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Monarch butterfly numbers from Thanksgiving count released

Candace Fallon - Xerxes Society

One of the major measures of migrating western monarch butterfly populations is called the Thanksgiving Count, because the weeks of counting run either side of Thanksgiving. But the compiling of the numbers takes a while, and the release is closer to Valentine's Day than Thanksgiving.

So the numbers are out this week, and scientists, conservationists, and just plain butterfly fans are hanging on the news. There have been some grim years for the monarchs in the last decade, with a slight rebound last winter. Emma Pelton watches the numbers closely at the Portland-basedXerces Society, where she is Senior Endangered Species Conservation Biologist and Western Monarch Lead. We get the numbers and analysis of them from her.

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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.