TEXAS — The once declining population of monarch butterflies is seeing an increase, according to Texas A&M researchers.
Craig Wilson, the director of the USDA Future Scientists Program and senior research associate at Texas A&M, said that early figures show more monarchs than had been expected in 2019.
“Figures show the highest number of hectares covered since at least 2006,” Wilson said told Texas A&M Today. “Monarch numbers are usually measured in hectares, so that’s means about 15 acres are being used for their breeding grounds in northern Mexico. That’s a really positive sign, especially since their numbers have been down in recent years."
Milkweed is an essential plant for monarch food, according to Wilson. Milkweed is in plentiful supply in the Central Texas area.
“If Texas residents want to help, they can start asking local garden centers and feed stores to get in more supplies of milkweed now and plant them,” he said.