DALLAS (KDAF) — Dallas Zoo is sharing some encouraging findings from a new study claiming Eastern monarch butterfly populations could be showing signs of growth.

According to the study by The World Wildlife Fund for Nature, officials in Mexico saw a 35% increase in the presence of the butterfly species during the 2021 winter season compared to the 2020 winter season.

To make this calculate the growth in monarch butterfly presence, researchers measured the area of forest the monarch butterflies occupy each winter in the hibernation colonies, inside and outside the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico.

They say that their presence grew from 5.19 acres in 2020 to 7.02 acres in 2021.

“The increase in monarch butterflies is good news and indicates that we should continue working to maintain and reinforce conservation measures by Mexico, the United States, and Canada,” Jorge Rickards, general manager of WWF-Mexico, said on the WFF website. “Monarchs are important pollinators, and their migratory journey helps promote greater diversity of flowering plants, which benefits other species in natural ecosystems and contributes to the production of food for human consumption.”

According to the WWF, monarch butterflies covered nearly 45 acres in Mexico during the 1995-1996 winter season, showing just how much their population has dwindled.

They say this decline is caused by a few factors:

  • Milkweed depletion
  • Illegal logging
  • The climate crisis

For more information, visit worldwildlife.org.