California Is Finally Drought-Free After 376 Weeks, And They're Being Rewarded With Wildflowers And Butterflies

California Is Finally Drought-Free After 376 Weeks, And They're Being Rewarded With Wildflowers And Butterflies

After 7 years, California is no longer arid. Thanks to the rainfall and snow, California has been blessed with the return of the super bloom which occurs once in ten years but has come once again in a matter of few years and the return of butterflies.

After experiencing 7 years of alarmingly dry conditions, California has finally been declared drought-free, The result? A surge of butterflies and wildflowers, reports Good News Network. California has been experiencing some form of drought since December 20th, 2011,  which is 376 consecutive weeks in total, according to recent reports from the US National Drought Mitigation Center. The condition in California has been improving steadily since 2017, with experts reporting an abundance in snowfall and rain during the winter season.  


Thanks to the rain and snow, the amount of drought-affected state land was reduced from 97 percent in 2016 to just 57 percent, which is around the same time the US Drought Monitor reported that America’s nationwide drought had FINALLY come to an end after three whole years. Now, only 7 percent of California now experiences "abnormally dry" conditions but experts believe the condition of these areas will improve soon, too.  


Also, because of the abundant rain and snow,  reservoirs are full and water levels have returned to normal,  while mountains across northern California are snowcapped once again. Breathtaking wildflowers have bloomed across the state because of the water. Did you know super blooms generally only occur once every decade? This is the second super bloom that California has experienced in just a few years now. 


According to the LA Times, along with the super bloom, there's also an abundance in butterflies, more specifically the "painted lady" that has been spotted. According to the Los Angeles Times, the population of the painted lady saw a decline in number in recent years, but as a result of the super bloom they are migrating to California in huge numbers, millions even, and it's quite a breathtaking sight! 


Experts claim it's been nearly 14 years since such massive numbers have been recorded, with the previous record being an estimated one billion painted ladies migrating south in 2005. "The more plants, the more butterflies," Art Shapiro, an ecologist at UC Davis and state butterfly researcher, told the news outlet. "So any year you have a real big bloom in the desert is potentially a big year for painted ladies."


"When they are scarce nobody notices them," said Shapiro, who has been tracking butterflies in the state for nearly 50 years. "When they are abundant, everyone notices." James Danoff-Burg, the conservation director at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert, also witnessed a pack of butterflies while riding a bike through La Quinta last week.
He said, "They were flying parallel to me, just bobbing along as I rode past the date palms. It was absolutely magical. I felt like a Disney princess."


At least 20 species are disappearing faster than the monarch, said Matt Forister, who is an ecologist at the University of Nevada, Reno. "There are a lot of butterflies declining quite rapidly," he said. "There is not one cause for the butterfly decline — that’s not how population extinction happens," Forister added. "It’s more likely a suite of factors that are pushing on all these species."


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