Western Monarchs: Notes from the Field
By Stephanie McKnight and Emma Pelton on 21 October 2019
Updates on a multi-year collaborative research project tracking the imperiled western monarch population.
After the sudden and shocking crash in the number of monarchs overwintering in California during the winter of 2018–2019, many people—including all of us at Xerces—have been anxiously watching for monarchs across the West this breeding season, hoping to see the butterflies bounce back.
In fact, staff from the Xerces Society and our partners have been keeping close eyes on the population at study sites in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho as part of a multi-year collaborative research project with Washington State University and Tufts University. We now have three years of data at the same study sites to quantify whether or not 2019 is a relatively “good” year in the breeding grounds—an imperfect, but vital snapshot of the population.