In good news for the nature girlies but bad news for anyone who detests moths, the bogong moth population is increasing thanks to three consecutive years of La Niña splooges. At least she was good for something!
The Australian Conservation Foundation interviewed a bunch of scientists who study the iconic creatures and all agreed it looks like there are more of them than usual, bless.
Back in the day, bogong moths had a population of about 4 billion but this number declined by a huge 99.5% because of the 2017 drought.
The effects of that event were pretty disastrous for other creatures, like the critically endangered mountain pygmy possum, which also suffered a population decline because bogong moths are its main food source.
As of December 16 there have been 269 sightings of the moth this year which is pretty exciting given the poor little critters are on the edge of extinction.
“It’s looking really positive but it’s still too early to be confident yet,” reproductive biologist Marissa Parrott told Guardian Australia.
“We know that numbers can fluctuate between years and we know they’re still low compared to what they should be.”
It’s also kind of wild that THREE La Niña events, which is obviously extremely out of the ordinary for our weather patterns, is what the moths needed to recover even marginally.
“That it has taken three years of record-breaking rains for the moth numbers to recover to pre-drought levels [on Mount Gingera at least], speaks to how low the population must have fallen,”Senior research scientist at the CSIRO Peter Caley said.
Bogong moths are iconic Australian creatures and were a central part of the Dreaming for many First Nations peoples from south-eastern Australia.
They’re super cool because they’re the only insect aside from the Monarch butterfly to travel thousands of kilometres to get to its summer migration destination without having ever been there. How do they know where to go?!
As someone who positive adores moths (they are cute and furry and deserve to be loved just as much as other fluffy babies), I welcome our returning moth overlords.
Sorry to the girlies I know who hate moths. Your time is coming.