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Western monarchs rebound but still below historic population

Monarch Butterfly (FILE)
Posted at 1:20 PM, Jan 25, 2022

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The number of Western monarch butterflies overwintering in California has rebounded to more than 247,000 a year after fewer than 2,000 appeared. But leaders of the annual Western monarch count said Tuesday the population still remains still far below the millions that were to be found in the 1980s.

The count was conducted over several weeks around the Thanksgiving holiday. Endangered species biologist Emma Pelton says she is ecstatic about the latest count but cautions that it does not indicate a recovery of the species.

Pelton says it will take multiple years to understand if is the beginning of a trend or just a blip.