California’s Monarch Butterfly Population Collapses By 86% In One Year

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In 1981 the Xerces Society, a non-profit environmental organization that focuses on the conservation of invertebrates, counted more than 1 million Western Monarchs wintering throughout California.

The group’s most recent count, over Thanksgiving weekend, estimated 20,500 Western Monarchs in 2018, an 86% decline from the nearly 148,000 spotted the previous year, according to an annual census conducted by the Xerces Society, SFGate reported last Sunday.

Researchers with the conservation group called the number “disturbingly low” and potentially “catastrophic,” in a statement.

Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus plexippus) are the most well-known butterflies species in North America. The Western Monarch typically migrates to California each winter, and researchers for the conservation group count its population in the state each

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