Last year, the number of western monarch butterflies wintering on the California coast reached a record low, alarming conservationists. But this year, unofficial counts show the iconic insects returning to their winter haunts by the hundreds and thousands. “We are overjoyed that migratory monarch butterflies have not disappeared from the western U.S.,” Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation senior conservation biologist and western monarch lead Emma Pelton said in a statement. “These early counts give us hope that, if we all work together, we can still bring western monarchs back.” […]


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