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Annual Migration of Monarch Butterflies highest in years!

Image: Charlie Neibergall/AP

Every year, the monarch butterflies make their way to California from all over the western coast. This is another example of animal/insect migration to avoid harsh winters. In the 1980s and 90s, more than a million butterflies migrated to California for the winter; a beautiful site to see.

Image: Sylvian Cordier/Getty

This number has fallen drastically over the recent years. Biologist Emma Pelton notes "The last few years we've had less than 30,000 butterflies." Pelton went on to note that this past year was the first time they documented less than 2,000 butterflies. So why the sudden and drastic change in migration? Pelton would suggest in a statement with NPR that pesticides and habitat loss play a role in decline.

Through the help of volunteers and biologist this year there is a documented increase however. The community has already documented 100,000 monarchs and document their gratitude well to be able to document nature in such a way.

"Nature has given us a second chance...But I do think we're in dangerous territory." Pelton noted. So what can you do on the West coast to help the situation? Biologists like Pelton note that one of the best ways to help is to do things like grow milkweed and flowers in your yard. Even this small act will go a long way in helping the monarch population continue to flourish.

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