Monarch butterflies are a beautiful part of nature. Every year they migrate thousands of miles to reach warmer climates, during this migration period scientists and researchers are able to track the butterflies to get a good idea of just how many there are. Unfortunately for the past few years things haven’t been looking good as the monarch butterfly population seemed to be suffering. This year however, the outcome looks quite a bit better. This year researchers are saying that the monarch butterfly population could be as much as triple what it has been for the past few years.
The way these butterflies are counted is actually kind of unique, thanks to satellite imagery scientists can get some pretty good estimates. Because of the fact that there are so many butterflies in such small areas the researchers often end up calculating butterfly population based on the amount of land the butterfly groups cover while migrating. Last year the estimate came up to just under 3 acres of coverage, but this year the number is over 10 acres. That is a really huge improvement according to environmentalists and butterfly researchers and they say that it is largely thanks to the numerous conservation efforts that are ongoing.
It might seem far fetched that the population could more than triple in one year but with butterflies that is actually a very real possibility. They’re greatly affected by weather, environmental affects, and a number of other factors, so a good year can really make a big impact. Researchers say that if this trend continues the monarch butterfly population might make it back to their population goal as soon as 2020. Back in the 1980s researchers estimated that there were 40+ acres of butterflies during the migration period, and that’s the goal to reach right now. It is great to see that the efforts are making a significant and measurable impact on the population and now that we know it is successful, we can continue in the right direction to keep making a positive impact. It isn’t every day that mankind can essentially triple the population of one species with a little help, but it looks like that is exactly what we’ve done with the monarch butterflies. Next year is looking like it’ll be an even brighter outcome too, so there’s nothing but good news on the horizon.