This year's official population estimate is 146 million monarchs, compared to a long-term average of 300 million and a peak of 1 billion. The clustering butterflies cover 2.91 hectares of forest compared to a peak of 18 hectares in 1996 and an average of 6 hectares. A population of 6 hectares is the target for monarch recovery.
Monarch numbers are down and people are wondering why. This article examines the factors that caused the decline during the past year and the downward trend over the past decade. Also, see how you can help.