This story originally appeared on Southernliving.com.
This year is shaping up to be an exceptionally beautiful one in Texas. Following the biggest wildflower bloom in a decade, Texas A&M Today is reporting that experts are also predicting a massive surge of monarch butterflies in the Lone Star State this season.
After several years of decline, the number of monarch butterflies appears to be up by as much as 144% according to Craig Wilson, director of the USDA Future Scientists Program and Texas A&M research associate.
"Figures show the highest number of hectares covered since at least 2006," Wilson told Texas A&M Today. "That's a really positive sign, especially since their numbers have been down in recent years."
That means a whopping 300 million butterflies are expected to make their annual journey to Texas from northern Mexico this spring.
Wilson explained that the butterflies feed on milkweed, which is plentiful throughout Central Texas. "Texas is a crucial place for them," he added. "They have to pass through the state on their way north in the spring and lay eggs."
He suggested that butterfly-loving Texans can help out by purchasing and planting milkweed in their gardens to keep the monarchs happy and well-fed on their journey.