After a record low last winter, initial counts of western monarch butterflies in California this winter show the population is rebounding. Last winter, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation recorded fewer than 2,000 monarchs (Danaus plexippus). That’s a fraction of the tens of thousands that gathered in recent years. In the 1980s, monarchs wintering in California numbered in the millions. This year’s count started last Saturday and will continue for three weeks, but already researchers and volunteers have tallied over 50,000 butterflies.