While monarch numbers are lower than average, they are far from the lowest we have seen. We encourage monarch enthusiasts to check the data page on our website regularly: http://www.monarchmonitoringproject.com/mmptwo.html. We have been hearing a lot of negative comments about this year's migration, with many extreme comments such as, "There are no monarchs this year," or "This is the worst it's ever been." We find ourselves on the defensive from these comments, and always point to the data, not to impressions. This is why we have been counting monarchs systematically for 22 autumns, so we are able to judge the migration through Cape May based on numbers, not recollections. And there are monarchs in Cape May this fall, there have been monarchs counted here every day of the census period, and several years have seen lower number than this year. I like to remind folks that it's human nature to remember the big years, not the low ones -- the big flights are the ones that are memorable.
That's not to say that there aren't reasons to be concerned about the migratory population of monarchs that inhabit eastern North America, and we talk about conservation at every one of our tagging demos. Come visit us if you can. Our demos will continue every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October 19 at Cape May Point State Park, 2 pm in the East Picnic Pavilion.
|MMP Director Dick Walton talks about monarch biology|
to the group at Wednesday's tagging demo.
|MMP Field Coordinator Louise Zemaitis tags|
a monarch at Wednesday's demo.