The Monarch butterfly’s 

by on 17 January 2022 | Translated by Sarah Engel

  • A team of Mexican scientists are developing a successful experiment that allows for the recovery and maintenance of endemic trees in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve that provide a habitat for monarch butterflies every winter.
  • The team is employing a mix of natural restoration, soil conservation and active reforestation that has so far achieved a survival rate of 83 to 84 percent, at least three times more successful than some government reforestation programs.
  • According to Dr. Cuauhtémoc Sáenz-Romero, one of the researchers of the project, forests where monarch butterfly colonies are located are becoming more susceptible to climate events through unusual foliage loss and increased woodland mortality.
  • Researchers have started to implement the “assisted migration” of oyamel firs (Abies religiosa) to higher altitudes in the reserve, where they can best resist changing climatic conditions. For several weeks in 2015, the sound of chainsaws cutting down trees was incessant in the Angangueo municipality in the Mexican state of Michoacán. When a group of people tried to stop the deforestation, it was already too late: 10 hectares (25 acres) of forest had already been destroyed on hillsides in the central area of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve.
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