Monarch Butterfly Population News from Mexico
Monarch Population Size Announced
February 26, 2016
By Elizabeth Howard

Good News from Mexico
The number of monarchs overwintering in Mexico has increased dramatically from the record lows of the past 3 years, though the population remains 32% below the historic average. The clustering butterflies cover 4.01 hectares of forest compared to a peak of 18 hectares in 1996 and an average of 6 hectares. This year's population contains 200 million monarchs compared to a long-term average of 300 million and a peak of 1 billion. Favorable breeding conditions in summer 2015 are credited for the substantial increase.

Conservation Goal
The target for monarch recovery is a sustained population of 6 hectares, a level high enough so that the population's natural yearly fluctuations don't drop below an extinction threshold.


How the Monarch Population is Measured
Teaching Suggestions