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The Changing Monarch Butterfly Population

The current monarch butterfly population is the largest in about a decade.

The population of monarch butterflies has been cut in half over the last decade, according to University of Wisconsin Arboretum Director Karen Oberhauser. 

Oberhauser joins Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe to  discuss the latest updates on the status of monarch butterflies. She has dedicated 35 years to studying the species. As monarch butterfly populations dwindled,  her resarch expanded to focus on conservation. 

Oberhauser says monarchs have recently been faring better and have risen in population throughout the last two years.  

"Monarch numbers are about up to the average of what they were in the previous decade," Oberhauser says. 

However she says the long-term population loss is still clear. 


Karen Oberhauser, professor and director of the Unviersity of  Wisconsin Arboretum and founder of the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project.

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa