1/8 Member Meet-Up: Monarchs at Natural Bridges

In 2018 and 2019, the number of monarchs (Danaus plexippus) overwintering in California dropped to 1% of the historic population size. In 2020, that number dropped even further to less than 0.01% of the historic size, volunteers counted less than 2,000 monarchs during the annual Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count. For every 2,250 monarchs there were 30 years ago, there is only one left flying today. (Source: Xerces Society)

Natural Bridges State Beach is a vital overwintering location for monarchs. The Park’s Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve is filled with winter-blooming eucalyptus trees that shelter monarchs from the wind and provide nectar to monarchs during while overwintering.

During January’s Member Meet-Up, we will be touring the Preserve at Natural Bridges, spotting the remaining clusters of monarchs before they leave Santa Cruz in search of food. Martha Nitzberg, State Park Interpreter 1, will share details about monarch lifecycles, threats to monarchs, and what we can do to help. We will also see a monarch restoration project with Groundswell Coastal Ecology and the California State Parks Foundation in action!

Saturday, January 8, 2022
11 a.m. to noon
Free Member Exclusive

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This program is in support of our new exhibit, Pollinators: Keeping Company With Flowers, on view January 15-March 6. Sponsored by 90.3 KAZU, Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History, and UCSC’s Center for Agroecology.