The monarch butterfly has returned to Yosemite National Park, according to rangers who say the endangered insect has been spotted in several locations around the park.
“It’s a really exciting time,” said ranger Jamie Richards. “We have monarchs, they’re doing very well. You’ll see them in areas like Cook’s meadow, Ahwahnee meadow.”
The butterfly has become such a rare sight that some who study the species are skeptical about its reappearance in Yosemite.
“I have my doubts that they’re really monarchs,” said UC Davis entomologist Art Shapiro. “I have not seen one monarch caterpillar in California this year.”
Park officials are asking the public to do their part to protect the butterflies by staying on designated paths to avoid trampling their habitat.
“When you see butterflies, particularly close to the roadways, slow down and give monarch butterflies a chance,” said Richards.