We'll see a 144% increase in monarch butterflies this spring and summer in central New York! Are you ready for this beautiful sight?

The monarch butterflies are migrating from Mexico. They'll start arriving in the middle of May through June with a massive increase in numbers. Lea Monroe from Only In Your State says:

This year's Monarch Butterfly population is estimated to be the highest it's been in the last twelve years!...Jumping more than 144% in the last year, the Monarch Butterfly population has tremendously grown and is now set to migrate all the way up to New York.

The butterflies will be in search of milkweed plants as it plays a critical role in the monarch’s life cycle.

photo credit www.xerces.org

The loss of milkweed plants has devastated the spring and summer breeding areas for the monarchs across the United States and is believed to be a significant factor contributing to their decreasing numbers. Xerces.org tells us:

Both the eastern and western migrations have experienced significant decline in a matter of decades. In the 1990s, nearly 700 million monarchs made the epic flight each fall from the northern plains of the U.S. and Canada to sites in the oyamel fir forests north of Mexico City. Now, researchers and citizen scientists estimate that there has been a decline of more than 80% in the east.

Thanks to conservation efforts their numbers are increasing and more than 120 million Monarch butterflies are expected to migrate into the Northeast with many landing here in CNY.

[Information from Xerces.org and Lea Monroe from Only In Your State]