• Pacific Grove Monarch count is up

    MONARCH ALERT: Erica Krygsman and Tama Olver conducted this week’s Monterey County monarch counts on January 4 and 5. The average number of monarchs counted at the Pacific Grove Sanctuary was 11,645, an increase from last week’s count, while counts at some other sites decreased. Temperatures were very warm both days and and flying and sunning activity was high; in addition, clusters at several sites were smaller, less dense, and occurred on more trees than noted in previous weeks. Both of these factors may have influenced the average number of monarchs counted.
    There are theories that butterflies “ping pong” between sites and do not roost at the same site all season long. This “ping pong” activity has been observed at other overwintering sites where tagging is allowed but cannot be confirmed here in Pacific Grove. The “ping pong” activity would account for rising and falling numbers over a season.
    There is as yet no report on the depredation question noted two weeks ago, when some 300 Monarchs were discovered dead or dying with their abdomens eaten. There was speculation of wasp activity.
    Next counts are scheduled for January 10 and 11.

    COUNTS – MONTEREY COUNTY
    Pacific Grove Sanctuary 11,645
    George Washington Park 7
    Point Lobos Reserve 681
    Andrew Molera State Park 3,104
    Private Property, Big Sur 6,633
    Plaskett Creek 1,173

    posted to Cedar Street Times on January 7, 2012

    Topics: Current Edition, Front PG News, Green, Butterflies

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