Monterey County Herald reporter Jane Palmer reports in a story Dec. 6 that this year’s wintering monarch numbers for Pacific Grove plummeted to 96% fewer than in last year’s Thanksgiving count. The article quotes entomologists Kingston Leong from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo and Art Shapiro from UC-Davis; Leong argues that the decline is related to poor management of the trees and other overwintering habitat, while Shapiro is more cautious in drawing such sweeping conclusions.
“Strange things are happening,” Shapiro said. “Something is changing and there are all kinds of possibilities why that may be so.” One reason butterﬂies may not be coming to the area is the unseasonably warm, dry weather, Shapiro said. Monarchs tend to move around depending on weather conditions, he said.
“I would be willing to bet, based on the weather, that there may be a signiﬁcant number of them north of (Monterey),” Shapiro said.
Read the full story at 2009 Dec 6 Monterey Co Herald_Pacific Grove Monarch Numbers Down