Monarchs at Ellwood: First Report!

By Robert Bernstein

This is usually the peak season for the Monarch Butterflies at the Ellwood Main butterfly grove. Here are my photos there this week.

I am sorry to say there are just two small clusters of butterflies hanging near the main viewing spot:

This lone butterfly was perched on the log bench at the viewing spot

For years there has been concern that butterfly numbers are declining. Back in 1989 counts began and I participated in that first count. We put tiny tags on butterfly wings. UC San Diego was organizing the counts at that time.

Here is the last data that I was able to find for the population count. The credit for this chart goes to Dan Meade and the City of Goleta.

I will keep checking back to see how the numbers change during this wintering season!


Written by sbrobert

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  1. For all the rule followers the grove is actually closed as is almost all of the eucalyptus “forest” of ellwood. There are signs everywhere and even the internet marks this location as closed. Just ignore them I guess??? Purple bee, take caution and a friend just in case.

  2. Because the signs and closure are solely PYA for the city. No one is going to arrest you for going in but if you are injured or worse by one of the dreaded Eucs they are in the clear. Our presence does not negatively affect the native wildlife. Get a grip.

  3. If the grove is closed and there are signs, WHY the heck is anyone going in and WHY would you be giving advice about how to get in? Seems irresponsible at best, disrespectful of nature and kind of lame. Respect our native wildlife. Preserve. Protect and leave it ALONE.

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