Why Cape May’s monarch butterfly migration population varies so much

monarch butterflies, new jersey wildlife

DIANE STOPYRA / WHYY NEWS – This time of year, being in southern New Jersey can feel like being inside a snow globe. Only instead of snow, the sky is a blizzard of butterflies.

We’re now experiencing the height of monarch migration, and while it’s too early to assess whether this has been a good season or a bad one for this remarkable insect, there’s reason to hope.

“We’re verging on a big year,” says Mark Garland, director of Cape May’s Monarch Monitoring Project, a research and education arm of New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory. “We’ve already seen some big pulses, and we’re expecting more to come through with the next cold front. We’re getting reports from Ontario, Connecticut, Ohio and Long Island that there are still lots of monarchs up north, heading our way.” …

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