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Happenings in the insect world
by Diana Magor
on July 25, 2021 at 10:19 AM
The monarchs at the three overwintering sites in Santa Cruz are leaving these sites much earlier (January) than in the past (late February to March). In 2020 they started leaving in January. On Jan. 1, 2021 there were over 500 monarchs overwintering at Natural Bridges State Beach. By Feb 3, only about 20, mostly males, were still there, suggesting that they are migrating from the coast much earlier than in the past, possibly due to high temperatures here in late winter.  
At Natural Bridges, over 100 monarchs were counted in early January 2021. On Feb. 3, only about 5 were still there, although there is a fairly large resident population in Santa Cruz, and some are known to roost in winter at Natural Bridges.
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