The season's first monarch butterflies could begin arriving in mid-April, according to Orley "Chip" Taylor, director of Kansas University's Monarch Watch.
Taylor said monarchs already had been detected in Texas and parts of southern Oklahoma.
Although there are more butterflies in Mexico than there were in the previous two years, Taylor said he was worried about the effect of drought on the population. Rainfall helps lead to better nectar sources and healthier milkweed, where monarchs lay their eggs.
He said conditions for breeding appeared to be better in the southern part of the United States than in areas near Lawrence and farther north. And it's not too late for rain to make for better conditions here, Taylor said.