One of the best ways that conservationists have to measure the overall health of the Monarch butterfly population is by the size of the area they occupy in tight clusters during the winter in Mexico. In the 1990s this area averaged about 15 acres. In the 2000s it was about 9 acres.
This winter the Monarchs occupied less than 1.7 acres in Mexico.
It's also worth mentioning that we've reached the end of March and the migration is underway, but I have yet to see a single monarch here in Houston. Things are not looking good for the beautiful and iconic insect right now.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: plant that milkweed! The survival of this species depends on it. I went to Houston Garden Center a couple of weeks ago and got a couple of large plants, which are now in my front yard. I might get another couple of plants this weekend.