Monarch butterfly population makes a modest rebound

By Peter Fimrite, SF Gate

The troubled monarch butterfly, whose winter migration is one of the most remarkable of any species, rebounded this year, raising hopes for the brilliant orange and black insect, according to the yearly count.

Some 56.5 million monarchs are gathered in Mexico for the winter after their amazing trek across the United States, scientists with World Wildlife Fund Mexico estimate. That’s a good deal more butterflies than last winter, when 34 million were counted in Mexico’s Sierra Madre, the lowest number recorded since 1993 when entomologists began keeping records.

A much smaller population winters in California, which saw an estimated 235,000 monarchs, a 50 percent decline compared to the 18-year average, according to scientists.

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