Monarch population up 144 percent at Mexico wintering grounds

FILE – In this Nov. 12, 2015 file image, an ailing butterfly rests on a plant at the king butterfly reserve in Piedra Herrada, Mexico State, Mexico. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Specialists state the population of king butterflies wintering in main Mexico is up 144 percent over in 2015.

A Mexican federal government declaration states the butterflies are inhabiting 14.95 acres (6.05 hectares) in the mountains of Michoacan and Mexico states. That’s a boost from 6.12 acres (2.48 hectares) a year earlier.

Countless kings move from the United States and Canada each year to pine and fir forests to the west of the Mexican capital.

They show up in such numbers that their population is determined by just how much area they cover.

Wednesday’s declaration states this year’s is the most significant measurement considering that the 2006-2007 duration. A low of simply 1.66 acres (0.67 hectares) was taped in 2013-2014.

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