This sighting is very exciting. Monarch butterfly populations are not doing well, especially for the western population of monarchs (overwintering off the coast of California). Despite growing conservation efforts, both populations continue to decline. We hope this one successfully mated and that her grandchildren make it back to an overwintering site.    

Where do the monarchs in western Montana go for the winter? According to the Montana Field Guide the, “Majority of southward-moving individuals west of the continental divide probably overwinter in coastal California, southward-moving individuals east of the divide probably overwinter in central Mexico, but still little data to support this.”

Photo by: Jacquese Rasmussen on 6/16/21 in Dillon, MT