Disappearing act: California’s monarch butterflies

 

Once home to millions of migrating monarch butterflies, the coast of California has recently seen significant drops in monarch butterfly populations. Monarch butterflies migrate great distances seasonally, traveling thousands of miles to nest along the West Coast. However, according to a study released by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the number of butterflies found in overwintering sites has decreased by 89 percent from the last year, going from 148,000 to only 30,000 butterflies. This marks an overall a 96 percent drop from the 1980s, where 10 million monarchs made the trip annually. Scientists are debating as to whether the butterflies have passed the point of no return, and if there is anything that can be done to help.