Friday, July 05, 2024

Where are those monarchs?

I saw my first monarch butterfly of the year just yesterday, 4th July, here in Toronto. I swear it gets later every year.

It's hard to find hard information on monarch numbers on a timely basis, despite them being probably the most researched butterflies in the world. The best I can find is a late June report by Monarch Watch, which seems to suggest that there is nothing to worry about.

Despite the winter monarch count in Mexico being the second-lowest ever recorded and some low early numbers of migratory returnees, Monarch Watch says that they take comfort in the fact that the early arrival were just that, early. 

"It seems safe to say that the numbers indicate that the growth of the population this year is comparable to that of most populations since 2015. The recovery to this point is nothing short of extraordinary and is a testament to the monarch's resilience."

Hmm, OK. That doesn't gel with my own observations of increasingly late arrivals and low numbers here in Toronto. So, what to think? Wait and see, I guess.

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