Welcome to the Pacific Grove Monarch Conservancy website
Here you will find links to many subjects relevant to the natural history and traditions surrounding the insects that give Pacific Grove the moniker “Butterfly Town, U.S.A.”
Monarch butterflies return each year to specific habitats in Pacific Grove, most notably the Monarch Grove Sanctuary on Ridge Road. In mid-February 2012, the monarchs were observed mating & departing on their migration. About 9,800 monarchs were observed at the Sanctuary. There had been a small cluster at Washington Park this year.
While a few early butterflies make their way to the California Central Coast by October (and are celebrated by the annual Butterfly Parade held by Robert Down School), the majority come around Thanksgiving. They mate around February, and leave the area around March.
In recent years, monarchs numbers have been down due to a number of factors, including habitat degradation, but the 2011-2012 overwintering season numbers have improved over 2009 and 2010.
The count at the Monarch Grove Sanctuary on Ridge Road is about 9,800 in mid- February 2012 (down from about 10,000 on January 11, 2012).
In mid-May, the City of Pacific Grove finally made public (in response to a citizen’s public information request) a hither-to secret plan for major changes to the Sanctuary. Monarch scientists and concerned citizens have previously rejected this plan as potentially harmful to the monarchs’ habitat, against the CC&Rs of the CA state wildlife easement that governs the Sanctuary, and a waste of valuable resources, since the monarchs cluster away from the proposed area.
Efforts are currently underway to restore the Sanctuary.
The Pacific Grove Monarch Conservancy is also concerned about the effects on habitat the demolition of Brokaw Hall, the 97-year-old historic cottage that formerly stood in the Monarch Grove Sanctuary, will have on returning monarchs during the Fall/Winter of 2011/2012.