Fifth Annual Western Monarch New Year’s Count Confirms Continued Decline in Western Monarch Population

By Stephanie McKnight on 1 March 2021

Western Migratory Monarch Population Needs Extraordinary Level of Conservation to Persist.

Since 1997 volunteers have conducted counts of overwintering monarchs for the Xerces Society’s annual Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count. As a way to better understand how the overwintering population changes throughout the winter, an additional count—the New Year’s Count—was started in 2016. Now in its fifth year, the New Year’s Count has given us a better understanding of: 1) how monarch numbers may decline at overwintering sites as the winter progresses; 2) how monarchs move between and within sites; 3) when they leave sites; and 4) the level of mortality that adult monarchs may be experiencing during the winter.

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