The state of the eastern population of monarch butterflies is very sad. Recent reports show that the populations are crashing, and reached an all time low over our last winter.
There is good news too, however. The western populations of the monarch butterfly (which have a much smaller migration), are hanging in there. Their populations even experienced a little rebound over the past winter.
As I discussed in an earlier post, the threat here is not to the monarch as a species…the monarch (Danaus plexippus) will probably survive. It has small populations all around the world, even in Australia. Instead we will be watching the extinction of a natural phenomenon: the awe-inspiring, multi-generational, mutli-year, massive migration of monarchs from Canada to Mexico.
And that migration was truly amazing…here’s a google earth tour, if you want to follow it.