Good News: Monarchs show signs of recovery

Monarch butterflies, Mexico

We recently received an email from Pete Ewins, Lead specialist, species conversation for the World Wildlife Fund – Canada:

“I wanted to share with you some fantastic news from our colleagues at WWF-Mexico. The area of mountain forest occupied by monarch butterflies this winter increased by 144 per cent over last year.

This is the biggest growth in 12 years and is a sign that the population of monarchs that migrate from Canada and the United States to Mexico may be on the rise, in part due to efforts of supporters like you.

Because we can’t count butterflies individually, scientists instead measure the area of forest the iconic butterfly occupies to get a sense of the overall population. The survey, conducted by WWF-Mexico and partners, found monarchs in 6.05 hectares of forest compared to 2.48 hectares during the same period in winter of 2017-2018.

This increase in butterflies is a testament to the power of conservation and the efforts of committed supporters like you across the continent.

Jorge Rickards, the general director of WWF-Mexico, attributed the increase in monarchs to better protection of the fir and pine forests monarchs hibernate in each winter and collective efforts to restore native plant habitat along the butterfly’s epic migratory route.

Here in Canada, more than 60 elementary and secondary schools have replaced monoculture schoolyards with vibrant pollinator gardens through our Living Planet @ School program. Through our In the Zone native plant gardening program, Go Wild grants and with the support of individuals like you, many more have transformed backyards and community spaces into vital habitat for wildlife.

While these results are to be celebrated, we cannot claim victory just yet. Monarch populations are still drastically lower than they were two decades ago. With you by our side, we’re taking steps in the right direction and will continue to address the threats monarchs face.

Let’s keep the momentum going for this iconic species! Together, we can reverse the decline of wildlife.”

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