Are Monarch Butterfly Populations Rising?

Eric or Pat Metzler spruance at
Sat Sep 6 09:43:10 EDT 1997

J. Brad Hicks wrote:
> I'm not a collector, or a professional, just somebody who thinks that
> butterflies are attractive, especially the big, boldly marked ones like the
> monarch. I remember being saddened when I read, years ago, that the monarch
> butterfly population was being threatened by loss of habitat. As a result,
> I started mentally keeping track of how often I've seen them in the St.
> Louis area during the summer.
> Now I'm sorry I didn't keep better records, because this has been a very
> unusual year for me.  For about the past ten years, my average number of
> sightings for this species has been around two to five per year. This year,
> I've seen them on seven separate occasions; two of those times, I saw two
> at a time, and one time even looked to my uneducated eye like a mating
> flight.
> I do not take any active steps to summon or attract them, and other than
> mowing the lawn less often this year than on average, I can't think of any
> reason why I'd suddenly see two or three times as many of them. Heck, this
> is almost consistent with my vague memories of monarch butterfly presence
> during my childhood in the late 1960s.
> So, does anybody know if there been a monarch butterfly population
> explosion, or has this just been an odd year for me?
> --
> J. Brad Hicks  mailto:jbhicks at
> Web Page:
> PGP keyserver:

Again, no objective observations, but I too feel that there are many
more monarchs in Ohio this year.  This past weekend in one of Ohio's
prairies, monarchs were everywhere nectaring on prairie dock, assorted
sunflowers, and coneflowers.  It was spectacular.

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Eric H. Metzler
1241 Kildale Sq. N.
Columbus Ohio 43229-1306

Phone:  614 888 3642
E-mail: spruance at

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