Western Monarch Count Tallies Over 330,000 Butterflies

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February 14, 2022

Invertebrates have a remarkable capacity for abundance in good times, as well as sudden drops during poor conditions. This makes for hair-raising peaks and valleys when tracking a species in peril. Even as we celebrate this year’s increase in western monarch numbers, we are reminded we are in a race against time to help restore a stable population that can ride out the effects of climate change.
Western Monarch Count Tallies Over 330,000 Butterflies

In the weeks before heavy rains battered the California coast, volunteers with the 26th Western Monarch Count turned up good news: a final tally of 335,479 butterflies during the study’s Thanksgiving counting period.

The results are a welcome reprieve from a total of less than 2,000 individuals counted in 2020 and nearly 250,000 in 2021. Yet the butterflies remain far from the low millions seen in the 1980s, and their recovery remains vulnerable to pressures like habitat loss, pesticide use and climate change. Already, severe storms have taken a toll since the count. Read More

Making Space for Native Bees on a Wisconsin Cranberry Farm

More cranberries are produced in Wisconsin than in any other state in the U.S. Most of those farms use imported honey bees and purchased bumble bees along with toxic pesticides to get the job done. Yet Farmer John Stauner and his crew are using organic practices and actively supporting their farm’s role in the broader web of life. Learn more

Study: Connecting Habitat in the Central Valley Could Help Save California’s Pollinators

A new study by scientists from the University of Nevada at Reno and the Xerces Society published found that planting the margins of agricultural fields with pollinator-friendly plants and minimizing pesticide use in the Central Valley of California could help pollinators survive in this highly altered landscape. In addition to allowing pollinator movement, the study found that over 1 million acres of habitat could be added to the Central Valley by restoring drainage ditches, field edges and uncultivated borders. Read More

Can You Top These 15 Creative Xerces Fundraiser Ideas?

As it turns out, growing a beard can indeed support invertebrate conservation — with peer-to-peer fundraisers supporting the Xerces Society. Help us raise money and awareness while having fun and flexing your creativity. Use our ideas as inspiration and let your imagination shine! Learn More

Upcoming Events

Join Matthew Shepherd this Thursday, February 16 to discover Oregon’s drought-tolerant plants that can add resilience to your landscape in the face of changing weather patterns, as well as support bees and other pollinators. Then on March 2, join Aaron Anderson for Ecologically Sound Mosquito Management at Home and learn to stop pests before they start.

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Xerces is a donor supported non-profit organization. Your tax-deductible donation today will help grow and sustain our essential work.

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Banner photo: Isis Howard, Xerces Society

Body photo: Anna Victoria

Body photo: Micah Kloppenburg, Xerces Society

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