• Monarch update: Bye, bye, butterflies

    By Jessica Griffiths

    Well, it’s official: the Monterey County monarch season has come to a close. Our final monarch count at the Pacific Grove Sanctuary was last Wednesday, and it looks like the monarchs finally decided to start dispersing. Our last count was just 4,136 monarchs, down from around 11,600 the previous week. So they’re finally taking off! They are also almost entirely gone from the private property site in Big Sur. They should totally disperse from the PG Sanctuary in the next couple of weeks; possibly sooner, given the sharp decline in numbers this week.

    I want to thank all of our volunteers for conitrbuting to a successful monitoring season. Thank you to the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History and the Monarch Sanctuary docents for ther time and support, and thank you to Ventana Wildlife Society for the use of their tagging equipment and phone number. A big thank you to our dozen volunteer taggers, who braved cold weather and numb fingers to take over 2900 monarchs. A HUGE thank you to our counters Tama, Inger Marie, Barbara and Stella (and our newer counters Phyllis and Heidi) without whom there would be no data. And our biggest thanks of all to Helen Johnson, whose generous funding and tireless support made this whole project possible.

    Join me in wishing the monarchs safe travels to their milkweed and a prosperous summer.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on March 14, 2009

    Topics: Butterflies, Front PG News, Green

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