Skip to Content

Eastern Monarch Population Holds Steady at 2.84 Hectares

May 24, 2022


  • Population Trends
  • Important Monarch News

From MJV Executive Director Wendy Caldwell:

With the ultimate goal of sustaining the eastern monarch population at or above 6 hectares of area occupied in the oyamel firs in the mountains of central Mexico, a modest increase from last year’s population to 2.84 hectares is still welcomed news! With recolonization reaching the northern U.S. and southern Canada, these overwintering monarchs have hopefully set the population up for growth. A cool spring put the monarchs ahead of the milkweed in some places - you can explore more about this timing each year through observations and maps from Journey North.

An increase is always better than a decrease, but our work is nowhere near finished! The annual monarch migration and multi-generational cycle relies on well-timed and abundant resources to sustain and grow the population. Any weak or broken link in this cycle can be cause for the monarch population to struggle. 

A community of partners across North America is working to ensure that monarchs have the resources they need, when they need them. From protecting and restoring forests where monarchs overwinter to restoring and enhancing breeding habitat throughout the North American range, we seek to engage everyone in an all hands on deck approach to conservation. 

From science-based education to inspire current and future generations and people from all backgrounds, to working together and getting our hands dirty studying, planting and maintaining habitat, there are meaningful ways for everyone to contribute. Volunteers and staff from across North America are planting habitat, educating others, contributing data, and supporting conservation efforts. 

This year, we look forward to growing our partnership network committed to scaling up this work and making an even bigger difference for monarchs and other pollinators, and for biodiversity conservation. The target for a sustainable population of eastern North American monarchs is 6 hectares, so let’s get to work. 

The original Spanish-language press release from WWF on the 2021-2022 overwintering numbers, released May 24, 2022 is available here. A translated version is available here.

Other Monarch Population Status Resources

Are you curious about how researchers measure the eastern monarch population in Mexico? Learn about the process here.

Read this year's 2021-2022 western monarch population announcement here.

Read last year's 2020-2021 eastern monarch population announcement here.

The Monarch Joint Venture is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and a national partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, businesses and academic programs working together to conserve the monarch butterfly migration. The content in this statement does not necessarily reflect the positions of all Monarch Joint Venture partners.

Header photo by Court Whelan