Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove


Maya Pettiford, Writer

Each year thousands of beautiful monarch butterflies leave behind the harsh winters of the North and come to sunny California. Starting in late October through February, up to 230,000 Monarch butterflies come to the Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove. The Grove is a publicly owned, protected site for butterflies to hide out during the winter months. Monarch butterflies travel from as far as Canada to get to warmer weather. This is because they simply cannot survive in the cold. In one day, they can travel up to 200 miles. The monarchs are very smart animals and can know exactly where to go back to because they get information from their antenna telling them the time of day. They use this information-combined with the position of the sun-to navigate around. The Pismo State Beach Grove is the perfect place for the monarchs because the tall Eucalyptus trees give them lots of shelter. It is also directly next to a garden with lots of flowers so the butterflies can get nectar. However, in recent years, fewer and fewer butterflies have been migrating to the coast. Scientists believe the population is diminishing because the milkweed habitats where they usually reside during the winter months are being destroyed. The fact that they now have fewer places to go, combined with the chemicals that are being sprayed on plants that they eat from are killing them. We can all do our part to try and help the monarchs. If you have a garden, you can plant milkweed and nectar plants that are native to our area. We can also make sure not to spray pesticides on our plants.   


Petition to save the butterflies – https://act.biologicaldiversity.org/onlineactions/5Ss6gxWulU-b6IdGltG6PQ2 – signing this will help to make the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service remove the butterflies from the waiting list and add monarchs to the list of animals threatened under the Endangered Species Act.