Butterflies at a park in Cleveland on the weekend Butterflies at a park in Cleveland on the weekend. Carl Bachtel, WKYC-TV

‘I’ve never in my life seen anything like it’

Huge numbers of monarch butterflies stop for the night in Cleveland, Ohio

Monarch butterflies “in the thousands” were flying over Lake Erie on the weekend, later landing to overnight in Wendy Park in Cleveland, Ohio, in numbers that haven’t been seen in years.

“I’ve never in my life seen anything like this,” said one of many visitors who turned up at the park to witness the butterflies’ arrival.

Charles Hawker said he had never seen so many before in his life. “At the beginning of the summer, I saw two or three at different times in different places. Never, you know,  four or five thousand in a group.  Never.”

Millions of monarchs make the annual migration from Canada and the U.S. to the forests of Michoacán and the State of México, where they overwinter. The numbers have been in decline for several years, the result of loss of habitat in Mexico and milkweed, their main source of food, in the U.S., say experts.

The migration was up 69% last year, but the number was still the second-lowest in 21 years.

Source: KHQ (en)

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