Goleta rehabilitates historic Eucalyptus grove to bring back monarch butterflies

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Anne Wells, of the City of Goleta surveys dead Eucalyptus trees decimated by the drought and old age at Ellwood Mesa. The trees were originally planted by Ellwood Cooper, who famously brought the Australian native trees to Goleta in the 1870s. Photo Credit: Jonathan Bastian/KCRW

California monarchs are in dramatic decline. A count conducted this year at the Ellwood Mesa preserve in Goleta revealed an 85% decrease from the year before, while it shows a 99.4% decrease in the butterflies from numbers counted in the 1980s. Last summer, Former Gov. Jerry Brown allotted $3.9 million from state funds for the restoration of the historic Ellwood Mesa Monarch preserve in Goleta. The restoration is an attempt to bring back the monarchs to their overwintering grounds in the Eucalyptus grove that was originally part of Ellwood Cooper large farm planted in the 1870s, which has provided the pollinators vital protection from storm winds and excessive heat.

Credits

Guests:
Charis van der Heide - Associate Biologist for Rincon Consultants and volunteer with the Xerces Society's Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count, Anne Wells - Planning Manager and the Advance Planning Division at the City of Goleta

Host:
Jonathan Bastian

Producer:
Carolina Starin