Monarchs Arriving On Time

Follow The Butterflies

“Over the past 20 years, we’ve actually seen a fairly steep decline in monarchs,” said Govea, citing data from the Xerces Society, which tracks numbers nationally. “You used to be able to see them in George Washington Park in P.G. but the last time people saw them there was a decade ago.”

As director of exhibits and education for the museum, Govea is more concerned with his home turf. He said the verdict on whether or not it’s a strong year for monarchs on the Monterey Peninsula is still out. That will remain the case until the weekend after Thanksgiving when the Xerces Society does their big count.

“We won’t know until the end of the season when we have the full count,” said Stong. “It’s impossible to say at this time it’ll be a better than average year. It’s just really cool to be seeing them come back for another year and we hope they continue to fill in.”

Monarchs Arriving On Time

Minimal Monarchs

Maybe the cost of housing is keeping them away.

Monarch Cluster

Volunteers and officials with the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History recently counted 11,000, down from 18,000 this time last year. That count seems to buck a coastal trend, although not all the counts are in.

Sarina Jepsen, the director of the Xerces Society’s endangered species program, said that from the 145 sites counted so far, the monarch count actually seems to be up from last year. Jepsen’s program aims to raise awareness about the plight of invertebrates that are declining.

Minimal Monarchs