Urbana resident Alex Wild kept an eye out for monarch butterflies last year. He was alarmed by what he saw. Or rather, what he didn’t see.
“I saw two the entire season,” says Wild, a biologist and photographer who specializes in taking close-up pictures of insects. “That was it — and I was looking for them.”
In Tuscola, about 35 miles south of Champaign, butterfly enthusiasts Kirby and Cindy Pringle also had trouble finding monarchs. “We saw only a handful,” Kirby says. “We could probably count them on our fingers and toes.”