A monarch butterfly in Exposition Park near the LA County Natural History museum Wednesday, June 1, 2022. Studies show there is a major comeback of the monarch butterflies in western US. Photo Credit: MediaNewsGroup/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

Animals United States11. February 2023

1, 2, 330,000 Butterflies Flying in the Sky!

The latest western monarch count along the California Coast in the United States reached over 330,000 butterflies, a notable increase since last year, proof that steady efforts to save the insect population are fruitful and should remain constant.

“We can all celebrate this tally,” says Emma Pelton, a conservation biologist at the Xerces Society and western monarch lead. “A second year in a row of relatively good numbers gives us hope that there is still time to act to save the western migration.”

The 26th Western Monarch Count took place between November 12 and December 4, 2022, and more than 250 people surveyed 272 sites across coastal California – with a few in interior California and Arizona. In 2020, the total count was less than 2,000 individuals but in 2021, that number reached 250,000. This year a total of 335,479 butterflies were tallied. Declared endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species TM in the summer of 2022, the migratory monarch butterfly has yet to be listed under U.S. or state Endangered Species Acts so legal protection is yet to come for the majestic, winged insect. To help the monarch to survive, you can plant native milkweed and a diversity of nectar plants, ideally native, in your area, and stop using pesticides. Many policies – such as the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act and the Monarch Action, Recovery, and Conservation of Habitat Act – are designed to help this endangered species.

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