Study: Number of monarch butterflies in California declined by 86 percent in one year

Read the full story at SFGATE.

If you enjoy watching the annual migration of the western monarch along the California coast you have probably already seen the signs of trouble in recent years. Numbers have declined precipitously over the last two decades and extinction looks increasingly likely.

In 1981 the Xerces Society, a nonprofit environmental organization that focuses on invertebrate conservation, counted more than 1 million western monarchs wintering in California.

The group’s most recent count, over Thanksgiving weekend, recorded less than 30,000 butterflies — an 86-percent decline since 2017 alone. 

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

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