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Monarch’s Have Yet Another Hurdle This Year

August 18, 2010 in Environment

In early May I did a post about Monarch Butterfly migration and the threats it was facing. Last year was the worst year for Monarch butterflies, the orange and black cloud which descends on Mexico every winter migrating all the way from as far North as Canada. Read the Post HERE

This year they are suffering from a double whammy sort of added to the already existing issues,  severe storms hit their forests in Mexico. The Nature Conservancy said in a news conference that storm damage in Mexico’s  Oyamel Forests 13,000-hectare (32,124 acre) monarch reserve is yet another blow to the fragile butterflies. Illegal logging has long been a major problem in these forests, this year torrential rains and heavy winds have damaged hundred’s of acres of the forest leading conservationists to feel even more worried for the Monarch.

A 1986 presidential decree in Mexico established the Monarch Butterfly Special Biosphere Reserve. This consisted of 60 square miles of protected forest. The Monarch Butterfly Reserve is strictly protected from logging.

The first one included 5 sites:

  • Altamirano
  • Sierra Chincua (open to public)
  • El Rosario (open to public)
  • Chivati-Huacal
  • Cerro Pelon

Seven more overwintering sites were later discovered:

  • San Andres
  • Mil Cumbres
  • La Mesa
  • Lomas de Aparicio
  • Piedra Herrada
  • San F. Oxtotilpan
  • Palomas

In the year 2000, a Presidential decree expanded the reserve creating a protected corridor of 216 square miles. The Oyamel forests are the perfect micro-climate for the Monarch Butterflies and years of tracking has proved that they have continued to return to the same wintering sites annually since 1976. 2010 United Nations Climate talks are to be held in Mexico and Mexico has committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 50 million tons by 2012.

We can all help in tracking what is happening to the Monarch butterfly by keeping our eyes open and recording the butterflies you see HERE the tracking officially starts this year on 26th August 2010, watch out for Orange and Black :) What the website wants you to look out for:

Watch for Monarchs that are:

  1. Flying Overhead
  2. Fueling at a nectar source OR
  3. Resting at an overnight roost

Lets hope things have improved and more Monarchs make it down south, keep your eyes open and remember the Website address Tracking Monarch Migration Hopefully it is not too late for the Monarch and the magical migration…

Read the entire Reuters article here

Watch the Monarchs in their forests courtesy of the Discovery Channel:

Check out “On the Wings of the Monarch” an exciting nature documentary that follows host Libby Graham on an amazing journey into the life of the monarch butterfly.

On the Wings of the Monarch [VHS]