BROOKINGS, Ore. — Thousands of monarch butterflies are being raised and tagged on the Oregon Coast as an effort to save the species.
The group ‘Brookings Oregon Monarch Advocates’ said the number of migrating monarchs has sunk to the lowest numbers in years but they’re hoping to save them.
“Something that goes from a tiny little egg to what looks like a worm to a beautiful butterfly, it’s really amazing,” Dennis Triglia, monarch advocate said.
“In the 1980s at about a hundred overwintering sites in California, there used to be between five and ten million depending on the estimate butterflies that would congregate there. Last year was about 50,000 and then a storm wiped out half of them,” Triglia said.
The main reason is the loss of milkweed, the butterfly’s source of food. It’s also where it lays its eggs.
“I never thought we were going to see any more monarchs up here,” he said.
The group has raised over 4,000 eggs in their own backyards. They tag the butterflies before letting them go.
“That’s important for the long term of survival of the western monarch because we’ll know whether or not we need to plant more milkweed or whatever along the way,”
Triglia said a majority of the eggs laid in Brookings have been shared all over Oregon from Portland to the Rogue Valley and Bend.
“We hope that we’ll be able to raise as many as we can and get the population up.”
For more information about the group and their efforts, you can find them on Facebook.