The Monarch Butterfly Locations In Berkeley Aquatic Park
October 2015 was strange, but a wonderful month for Berkeley, California. Tips were coming in from multiple sources that small fish were jumping in the waters at the Aquatic Park. Less than a month later, another tip came in that clusters of Monarch butterflies. These Were seen in hanging like pendants off of tree branches.
There are over two hundred sites in California. That is known to be useful for spotting the Monarchs during the Fall and Winter months. Most are in places close to the Pacific Ocean, where there is an abundance of Eucalyptus trees.
That was a very important occurrence for Berkeley. Pacific Grove, Pismo Beach, and Santa Cruz are some of the most Popular locations for seeing butterfly roosts, but never Berkeley. A reporter decided to check it out for himself.
California Butterfly Breeding
The person who called in the tip said the Monarch butterflies were near the fourteenth hole of the disc golf course, so the investigation began there. At nine AM when the reporter arrived the Monarchs were easily spotted.
They were clustered together with wings closed and a common practice for the butterflies. When they are trying to preserve body heat. As the sun warmed the branches and trees, the fluttering would begin. Monarchs only fly in weather above fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit but prefer it to be even warmer.
The number of Monarchs in North America has declined over the last two decades. Their numbers are thought to be ninety percent less than twenty years ago. Now in California butterfly breeding seems to be on the rebound. Scientists believe that 2015 was the biggest year for Monarch butterflies in Central and Northern California in at least ten years.
Plant On Which The Monarch Butterfly Reside
There are multiple reasons for this decline that has scientists hoping to find solutions. Some believe it is because pesticides and insecticides are either being sprayed on plants or the wind is carrying the poison to these plants.
Monarchs enjoy nectar producing plants like asters and marigolds. Milkweed is the only plant the Monarch females will lay their eggs on the only plant the caterpillars will eat.
Another reason why there may be fewer Monarchs is their southernmost home in some Mexican forests is illegally logged by indigenous people trying to survive, but most of the butterflies seen in Popular locations in central California end their southern voyage there.
This increase seen in 2015 is both inspiring and exciting for the town of Berkeley. The first time the Monarchs have been spotted in large numbers in the Aquatic Park. In the future, the Aquatic Park may become one of the Popular locations for scientists hoping to study the orange and black beauties.
This will depend on what happens in the future; there’s never a guarantee of the butterflies returning, but it is standard practice for generations to locate to the same areas their ancestors did. It’s also uncertain if their visit to the Berkeley would be a temporary rest stop on their flight Southward. If this would be their Winter getaway until they returned to their place of origin in the Spring.