President’s Note: Western Monarchs – How Bad Can It Get?
The monarch butterfly is facing challenges in maintaining its population in North America. Part of the issue is overwintering sites.
There are two main migratory routes for North American monarchs.
Western monarchs migrate to several locations along the California coast.
To show how bad it can be, the preliminary count data from the West Coast monarch count showed an overwintering population of around 30,000 this year. Some research shows that this is the potential extinction point for this population!
According to the Xerces Society, the population was over 1.2 million in 1997, while counting fewer sites along the California coast.
The central North American population is doing better, but it is still at very low numbers.
While awareness of the plight of the monarch is high, we still need to do more. We are in danger of losing an iconic North American butterfly.