The 25th Annual Thanksgiving Western Monarch Butterfly Count has arrived!
The Western Monarch Butterfly Count is a volunteer effort to collect data on the status of the western monarch population along the Pacific Coast starting in Mendocino and ranging all the way down to Northern Baja, Mexico, during overwintering, which occurs approximately from October to March.
The height of this effort takes place during the Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count, which occurs for three weeks around the Thanksgiving holiday. There was an additional count added in 2017, which takes place for three weeks around New Year’s. The annual Thanksgiving Monarch Count is a community science program organized through the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
The Thanksgiving count will run from Nov. 13 through Dec. 5 and the New Year’s Count will run from Dec. 25 through Jan. 9.
Monarch Butterflies at Goleta’s Ellwood Butterfly Grove are returning for the winter season, yet remain at historically low numbers. Approximately 500 monarchs were counted at Ellwood during the beginning of November.
Those who wish to help count monarchs in Goleta and other nearby locations, are asked to contact local area coordinator Charis van der Heide at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about monarch butterflies and this year’s annual Thanksgiving Count, please visit the following websites: https://www.westernmonarchcount.org https://xerces.org/blog/bounciness-of-butterflies.