Population News is In!

February 14, 2019 by Elizabeth Howard

Welcome to Journey North's 26th season. We start with a visit to the butterfly colonies in Mexico, where visitors are witnessing the most spectacular season in years.

“The monarchs are extremely active and restless all over, either flying or landing on the stairway, as well as on the bodies and hats of visitors!” reports Estela Romero.

Hello from Michoacán, Mexico

As we wait for spring migration to begin in March, our local reporter, Estela Romero, will send weekly news from the sanctuary region in Mexico.

“This is indeed an exceptional year! The official counts just released days ago, have confirmed what we suspected: the largest population in years. This matches the extraordinary numbers everyone observed last fall while the monarchs were on their journey south.”

Estela visited two sanctuaries this week, El Rosario and Sierra Chincua. Both are at 10,000 feet elevation and a short drive from her town of Angangueo. Temperatures have been unusually warm this winter, she reports. The butterflies have been extremely active and exhibiting behaviors not typically seen until March. More…

Population News From Mexico: Highest Since 2006

Scientists cheered at the press conference in Mexico City when this year’s official monarch population estimate was announced. The clustering butterflies cover 14.9 acres (6.05 hectares) of forest, the highest recorded since 2006 and an increase of 144% from last winter. More…

Population News From California: Lowest on Record

North America has two migratory populations of monarch butterflies: an eastern population that overwinters in Mexico and a western population that overwinters along the California coast. The western population has crashed to the lowest levels ever seen, with fewer than 30,000 individual butterflies. We begin this season with a feature on the situation in California with a call to action. Please report your Monarch sightings to Journey North.

Feature: Western Monarch Population News