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Mexico
Ellen Sharp

Among the Monarchs of Canada

Canada is home to a sliver of the world’s population and a disproportionately large number of monarch butterfly enthusiasts. Now I understand why: when we visited in the first week of September, the monarchs were delightfully ubiquitous, flitting by or frolicking about wherever we found ourselves. They kept catching in my peripheral vision, wings pumping

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Conservation
Ellen Sharp

Who Is Pato Moreno? The Story Behind the Viral Butterfly Video

On February 2, 2019, Pato Moreno had a few hundred Facebook “friends,” many of them visitors he’d met through his job as a forest ranger in the Cerro Pelon Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. Then he posted a video he’d taken at work that day. By the week’s end, he’d accepted 3,000 friend requests and his personal

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Conservation
Ellen Sharp

Behind the Breathtaking Pictures

A carpet of monarchs at El Rosario. Photo by Sabrina Dao. Sabrina Dao talks about shooting the monarchs in Mexico. Butterflies & Their People is a small non-profit dedicated to paying locals to protect the Cerro Pelon Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. We were beyond excited when nature photographer Sabrina Dao offered to donate a finished 20×30 canvas art

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Environmental Issues
Ellen Sharp

“Reality Checking” the Wonder

Cerro Pelon’s most recent colony formation, January 6 2019.   Sorry about the silence — the holidays were busy here at the entry of the Cerro Pelon Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. And up above us, the butterflies stayed busy too, continuing to fly every day as temps continued to range from 3–16°C up on the mountain. I didn’t have

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Ecotourism
Ellen Sharp

Fluttering and Fissioning

Monarch nectaring on salvia mexicana on Cerro Pelon.   Cerro Pelon’s Monarch Colony on the Move: December 11–18, 2018 Temperatures warmed up again on Cerro Pelon and the Butterflies & Their People arborists brought back so many images of incredible beauty that it was hard to decide which ones to include in this week’s report. The

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Conservation
Ellen Sharp

Ongoing Arrival and Colony Consolidation:

In the second week of December, the monarchs keep coming.   Cerro Pelon Chronicles: December 4–11, 2018 Temperatures started off warm at the beginning of the 2018 butterfly season. With midday averages at 13 C/55 F, Cerro Pelon’s monarchs were active every day from November 6th until the 28th. The same was true throughout the first three

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Climate Change
Ellen Sharp

Dampened but Not Diminished

Mexico’s Monarch Migration Survives Bout of Bad Weather (Nov 28-Dec 3, 2018) Wind and rain whipped around our house on the night of November 28. I lay awake worrying about the butterflies, wondering how much worse the weather was 700 meters above us on Cerro Pelon. The shrill sounds outside brought to mind the devastation

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Mexico
Ellen Sharp

“Banner Year” in Progress on Cerro Pelon

Cerro Pelon monarchs and their favorite flower, salvia mexicana. Week Three: November 20–27, 2018: Colony Growth and Fission Mexico’s monarch colonies are constantly in flux, varying from season to season, month to month, and even week to week. People try to pin monarch tourism down with generalizations. Like the hike takes however long and the trail

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Monarch Butterfly
Ellen Sharp

Monarchs Pour in on Cerro Pelon

https://youtu.be/Ow5NcB_gR-8 This week the bulk of my report from Cerro Pelon comes to you in the form of a video (see above). I shot these images on November 11, 2018, in the Carditos section of Cerro Pelon. Although the sanctuary does not officially open until next Saturday, Joel and I went up to check in

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