The number of monarch butterflies doing their annual migration through California reached record lows last year, but according to several volunteer counts, there are significantly more butterflies this year.
The Xerces Society’s Western Monarch Count Resource Center, which provides daily butterfly count updates for a number of important groves throughout California, has consistently counted upwards of 5,000 butterflies in the Pismo Beach grove this month. On Tuesday, the group counted 6,735 butterflies — more than double the number counted during the official Thanksgiving Day count in 2018. The Thanksgiving Day count acts as a benchmark for each year’s population since the holiday typically marks the start of the local butterfly season.
If you have the hankering to view these beautiful monarch butterflies, make sure to visit the Pismo Beach groove in California before New Year’s Day. That’s typically the height of the season. After that, the butterflies leave to continue their migration further south.