Biologists and volunteers are delighted to see that the number of monarch butterflies emigrating to California are increasing, after numbers plummeted by more than 99% in recent years. More than a million made the trip annually during the 1980s and '90s, but last year, there were less than 2,000. More than 100,000 have been counted so far this year. "It's kind of magical to just be in this closed-in woodland, and then all of a sudden, poof! You're just like a Disneyland fairy princess surrounded by butterflies," says Richard Rachman, coordinator for the Xerces Society's annual Thanksgiving monarch count in Los Angeles County. Biologist Emma Pelton says people in the western US can help the monarchs by planting native milkweed and flowers in their yards.

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