Good News from Mexico
The number of monarchs overwintering in Mexico has increased dramatically from the record lows of the past 3 years, though the population remains 32% below the historic average. The clustering butterflies cover 4.01 hectares of forest compared to a peak of 18 hectares in 1996 and an average of 6 hectares. This year's population contains 200 million monarchs compared to a long-term average of 300 million and a peak of 1 billion. Favorable breeding conditions in summer 2015 are credited for the substantial increase.
Conservation Goal The target for monarch recovery is a sustained population of 6 hectares, a level high enough so that the population's natural yearly fluctuations don't drop below an extinction threshold.