Page 37 - San Luis Obispo Visitors Guide - Spring 2023
P. 37

Pismo Beach, Shell Beach & Oceano
Local monarch butterfly population has increased by thousands
  Watch the majestic monarch butterflies as they overwinter at Pismo State Beach Monarch Grove
The 2022 winter western mon- arch butterfly count reported
a dramatic increase in the local population of this iconic orange and black butterfly. The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation has reported that the local population has increased for the second year
in a row. The 2022 winter count reported 129,000 butterflies in San Luis Obispo County, up from over 90,000 in 2021. So far, the total for the first 2022 western monarch but- terfly count for California reports more than 300,000 increasing from 247,237 in 2021.
The Pismo State Beach Mon- arch Grove is one of California's principal overwintering sites for the monarch.
The butterflies
can be seen
hanging in
clusters on the
eucalyptus trees
in the grove
and now and
then, a few will
flutter around,
adding a sense
of a magical
wonderland to
the grove.
The Pismo
Beach monarch
grove is also
the trailhead
for the Western
Trail. Officially
launched on Earth Day in April 2022 when the first interpretive panels were installed in the park, the Western Monarch Trail follows
the migration route of the monarch butterfly through California and other western states.
The panels at the Pismo Beach monarch grove, in Spanish and English, provide information about the monarch butterflies and what we can do to help preserve and
restore the population. Experts in the field and rep- resentatives of participating organiza- tions have
all collabo- rated to create beautiful and informative panels.
The declining
monarch but- terfly popula- tion has been a concern
for scientists
and butter- fly enthusiasts since 2014 when a dramatic decline was observed in
butterflies hibernating in Mexico. Scientists attribute the decline to
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    Pismo Beach • 500 Cypress, Ste. 5 • (805) 773-9424 solvang • 1634 Copenhagen • (805) 693-8337
  SPRING 2023 37

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