Monarch butterfly counts decrease in Cape May
CAPE MAY, N.J. (AP) — Officials say they counted fewer numbers of monarch butterflies during their annual migration through Cape May in New Jersey this year.
Monarch field naturalist Lindsey Cathcart tells The Press of Atlantic City that members of the city’s Monarch Monitoring Project counted an average 47.1 insects per hour this year, compared to 94.09 last year.
Project director Mark Garland says the numbers don’t necessarily mean there were fewer monarchs. He says scientists believe winds may have pushed the butterflies further west.
Cathcart says this year’s count is well above 2016′s average of 14.71 butterflies per hour. She says volunteers have tagged between 4,000 and 4,100 insects, and their best week was Sept. 29 to Oct. 5.
The project will continue to count butterflies through Wednesday.