Blog

Environmental Issues
Ellen Sharp

Taking Care of the Butterfly Forest

Butterfly guide Anayeli Moreno and I have started hiking on Cerro Pelon most mornings to get in shape for the upcoming season. Happily, the forest we’re walking through is in much better shape after this off season than it has been in previous years. You may have seen my plea for help in June 2017,

Read More »
Conservation
Ellen Sharp

Butterfly Trailblazer: An interview with Cerro Pelon’s first female guide

It’s not unusual to see women working as guides in the El Rosario and Sierra Chincua monarch butterfly sanctuaries. In these sites, anyone who’s related to an ejiditario (members of the community with land titled in their names) can buy the right to work. At Cerro Pelón, the organization of work is simultaneously more inclusive

Read More »
Citizen Science
Ellen Sharp

Monarchs Continue to Arrive, Filling Out the Colony

The Cerro Pelón Chronicles: A Butterflies & Their People Project November 21–27 Migrating monarchs are still in the process of reaching their overwintering sites in Mexico. People in the villages surrounding the Cerro Pelón Sanctuary reported seeing them flying overhead throughout the week. Meanwhile on Cerro Pelón, CEPANAF Ranger Pato Moreno and the Butterflies & Their

Read More »
Conservation
Ellen Sharp

A Spectacular Start: Monarchs Stay Active on Cerro Pelón

The Cerro Pelón Chronicles: A Butterflies & Their People Project November 15–20, 2017 Last week there was talk in the press about this fall’s monarch migration being a “late” one, because people were still seeing monarchs in large numbers in northern climes at a late date. However, as we reported to Journey North, here on

Read More »
Citizen Science
Ellen Sharp

Colony Formation Continues on Cerro Pelón

The Cerro Pelón Chronicles: A Butterflies & Their People Project November 8–12, 2017 Citizen scientist observations inform much of what we know about monarch butterflies’ annual 3,500-mile migration from Canada to Mexico. But during the monarchs’ five-month-long stay in Mexico, very little information their timing, location and behavior reaches the public. (I talk about some

Read More »
Conservation
Ellen Sharp

Protect the Monarch Butterfly Forest!

My brother-in-law Patricio, or Pato as we call him, used to have a wonderful job, working as a forest ranger in the Cerro Pelon Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. Every winter millions of monarch butterflies migrate from as far away as Canada to cluster in a few acres of our area forests. From November to March of

Read More »
Citizen Science
Ellen Sharp

Who Gets to Be a Citizen-Scientist?

Democratizing Monarch Studies to Save the Migration Monarch studies offers a case of participatory ecology par excellence. The confirmation of their annual 3,500-mile migration from Canada to their overwintering sites in the mountains of Mexico drew upon the labor of thousands of volunteers. Starting in the 1950s, “citizen-scientists” all over the US and Canada put

Read More »
Environmental Issues
Ellen Sharp

Monarch Conservation Efforts for Naught?

I feel like I am turning into the Cassandra of the mountains of Mexico, delivering news about its monarch butterfly sanctuaries that no one wants to hear. The thousands of people in the US and Canada involved in monarch conservation would like to think that just as much effort is going into protecting their habitat

Read More »
Travel
Ellen Sharp

Death in Rural Mexico

Women and the work of dying. Dear Aunt Bianca, Even though we were mere meters away, just across the street, Joel and I slept through your departure. They say you sat up on the edge of your bed at 6 am and tumbled to the floor. When your family lifted you up, you were unconscious,

Read More »
Scroll to Top