Monarch Butterfly Numbers Rise Dramatically

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After several years of decline, the number of monarch butterflies appears to be up dramatically – perhaps as much as 144 percent – according to a Texas A&M University researcher and monarch butterfly advocate.

Craig Wilson, director of the USDA Future Scientists Program and senior research associate in the Center for Mathematics and Science Education at Texas A&M and a longtime butterfly enthusiast, says early figures show many more monarchs than had been expected for 2019. The figures are promising considering monarch numbers have been trending down for the past five years.

"Figures show the highest number of hectares covered since at least 2006," Wilson said. “Monarch numbers are usually measured in hectares, so that means about 15 acres are being used for their breeding grounds in northern Mexico. That’s a really positive sign, especially since their numbers have been down in recent years. I believe the record low was in 2013-14 when only 0.65 hectares (about 1.65 acres) were covered. So it is very promising news.”



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After years of decline, a Texas A&M researcher and butterfly advocate says the total population of monarch butterflies appears to be increasing.