Page 40 - San Luis Obispo Visitors Guide • Summer 2022
P. 40

Pismo Beach, Shell Beach, Oceano
Western Monarch Trail officially launched at Pismo State Beach Monarch Grove
 Interpretative trail follows the migration path of the western monarch butterfly
After months of planning, the Western Monarch Trail was officially launched at the Pismo State Beach Monarch Grove on Earth Day, April 2022. Informative panels installed by California State Parks staff are the first of many to be installed along the western mon- arch migration path throughout the western states.
The panels identify overwinter- ing and nectar locations, providing information about the butterflies, the efforts to restore their popula- tions and what the public can do to
help. The panels at the Pismo Beach grove are in Spanish and English. More locations at the San Luis
Obispo Botanical Garden, Los
Osos, San Simeon and Big Sur are being announced soon. Other sites in Carpinteria, Ventura and Port Hueneme are also adding panels with more California sites being added in the coming months.
Visit westernmonarchtrail.com frequently for updates.
A declining monarch but- terfly population has concerned scientists and butterfly enthusiasts since 2014 but 2021 brought hope. Approximately 250,000 butterflies were counted in California by the Xerxes Society during the annual count. This is a significant increase over the 2000 butterflies counted in 2020, but the society reports this increase represents less than 5% of the former population numbering in the millions.
Kristin Howland, executive director of the Central Coast State Parks Association (CCSPA) expects sites in Oregon, Washington, Idaho Utah, Nevada and Arizona to start Western Monarch Trail projects in early 2023. The enthusiasm from state and federal agencies through- out the western United States
has been very encouraging said Howland, “I have been surprised by how effortless it has been to work with so many different agencies and how willing they have been to come on board.”
The Western Monarch Trail, spearheaded by CCSPA, is the result of collaboration with Cali- fornia State Parks, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Xerces Society, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Native Plant Society, the Western Associa- tion of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and many more agencies and organizations across the Western United States.
The Pismo State Beach Monarch Grove is located at 400 S Dolliver St, Pismo Beach. For more information about the butterflies or the Western Monarch Trail, visit westernmonar- chtrail.com or parks.ca.gov.
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