As reported on October 24, 2021 by MACKENZIE SHUMAN in THE TRIBUNE of San Luis Obispo, the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove has seen a 3500% increase in the Monarch Butterfly count. Every year, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation organizes the Western Monarch Butterfly count, held in mid-November to early December in the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove. To learn more, read the article by Mackenzie Shuman in the The Tribune.
How You Can Help Save the Monarch Butterflies from Extinction
In Shuman’s article, California State Parks Interpreter Danielle Bronson advised San Luis Obispo County residents living near monarch butterfly overwintering sites to not plant milkweed, and instead plant winter-flowering nectar plants such as manzanita, bluedicks and seaside fleasbane. Bronson says these plants provide good food sources for the Monarch Butterflies as they leave the overwintering sites in the early spring.
Additionally, there are several things people can do to help protect monarch butterflies, according to the Xerces Society. The nonprofit organization suggests the following:
- Adopt an overwintering site and become an advocate for the site’s protection and management.
- Plant native California flowers that bloom in the early spring (February through April) to provide critical food for the monarchs.
- If you live far away from overwintering sites, plant native milkweed including woollypod, California, heartleaf, narrowleaf and showy milkweed plants.
- Seek out non-chemical options to prevent and manage pests in your garden and landscaping. Pesticides, herbicides and insecticides can all kill monarch butterflies.
- Report all monarch adult, caterpillar, egg, nectaring and milkweed sightings to the Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper.
- Use the hashtag #SaveWesternMonarchs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to raise awareness, and add a Save Western Monarchs frame to your Facebook profile picture.
For more details, go to xerces.org/western-monarch-call-to-action.
The Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove is one of only five sites in the state that has counts of over 10,000 butterflies annually. Each year thousands of vibrant orange and black Monarch Butterflies flock to Pismo State Beach, a location essential to their successful migration, seeking shelter from the freezing northern winters. From late October to February, the butterflies cluster in the limbs of towering, majestic Eucalyptus trees flanking a riparian estuary that flows to the Pacific Ocean. The grove is easily accessible from CA State Highway 1 at the south boundary of the city limits of Pismo Beach. This season, Western Monarch Butterfly Day will be held Saturday, February 5, 2022.