The Monarch Monitoring Project says that migrating Monarch butterflies are back in force this year after a distressingly low turnout during the 2013 season.
The organization, based in Cape May NJ, was founded in 1990 in order to record Monarch butterfly populations as they pass through the region during the September and October migratory period. The routine measurement includes the number of butterflies a single observer can spot as they travel slowly by car over a five mile route stretching between Higbee Beach to Cape May Point, with the observations then posted to the project’s website.
Data gathered this migration season has been far and above the weekly tallies from 2013, according to the the website. This is good news for the Monarch population in general, but even though the figures have increased by either double or triple from 2013 populations so far has been below average for years past. In fact, Monarch sightings in 2012 were ten times as common than they have been so far this year.
Over the last 25 years that the Monarch Monitoring Project has been in operation there have been only four truly bad years, says the organization’s communications director, Mark Garland. 2013 was one of those bad years, he added.