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Over much of the past two decades, the number of western monarch butterflies has been going down. These insects migrate, or move from one place to another, when seasons change. 

In 2020, fewer than 2,000 monarch butterflies spent the winter in California. But last year, more than 247,000 were spotted in the same area. And that’s great news!

“Monarchs are important for many reasons,” says Scott Black. He’s a conservationist, or someone who works to save wildlife. “If their numbers are low, we know something is wrong with the environment.” 

Researchers don’t know why monarchs made a comeback. But they’re hoping the butterflies keep it up. Everyone can help these butterflies by planting milkweed. That’s the only plant monarch caterpillars eat. Black says, “Together we can save monarchs!”