Everyone has been talking about the super blooms this spring, whether it’s in California or Texas, but flowers don’t have the monopoly of amazing natural events. Experts are predicting that following Texas’ biggest wildflower bloom in a decade, a massive number of monarch butterflies are going to descend upon the state. According to Texas A&M Today, director of the USDA Future Scientist Program and senior research associate in the Center for Mathematics and Science Education at Texas A&M Craig Wilson is forecasting a dramatic rise in the number of monarch butterflies this year — an increase from last year by as much as 144 percent.
Wilson said, “Figures show the highest number of hectares covered since at least 2006. That’s a really positive sign, especially since their numbers have been down in recent years.” While an exact count would be impossible to predict, around 300 million butterflies are expected to make their annual journey from northern Mexico to Texas this spring.
“Texas is a crucial place for them,” Wilson explained. “They have to pass through the state on their way north in the spring and lay eggs,” and they feed on milkweed, which is abundant in Texas. To ensure that the monarchs show up in record numbers, Wilson said Texans can improve the odds by planting milkweed in their gardens. At the moment, there are plenty of bluebonnets in Big Bend National Park for them to enjoy.