Who is the Monarch Butterfly? The Monarch Butterfly butterfly spends its entire life in the California desert in the winter, migrating across the US before returning to Mexico in April.
A woman in Sacramento, California, was a key player in the recovery of the monarch. In 2007, she commissioned environmental group Californians for Population Stabilization (CPST) to do a comprehensive survey of the existing habitat in her neighborhood. By collecting and counting thousands of the butterflies, they found that 90 percent of the eggs and larvae were laid during the first month of July.
Over the next decade, CPST worked with these monarch butterflies to see what could be done to aid their migration. In 2011, they developed a new technique for rearing the butterflies: throwing them water from buckets inside bottles. By feeding the butterflies a choice of sweetened drink, they improved their ability to swim and delay until they could fly. The technique enabled about 60 percent of the butterflies to survive the journey.