Animals

Cerro Pelon Update: Continued Arrival and Colony Relocation

https://youtu.be/F6p89eRe3xw Many of you have been asking how the monarch population is looking this season. The answer is very good — at least as good as last year, which was the most numerous people said they had seen in at least twenty years. For official numbers, you’ll have to wait until those figures are released later in …

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How to Do Monarch Butterfly Ecotourism

Mexico is not a poor country, but its wealth is unevenly distributed. Half of Mexicans live in poverty, including the rural communities that lost their land after the discovery of the monarch colonies. Until recently, these communities lacked tourism infrastructure. Only outside operators benefited from butterfly tourism and locals continued logging the butterfly forest to …

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Monarch Migration Reaches State of Mexico Sanctuary on October 31, 2019

Usually in late October, the wind rips through the valley and blows the clouds away, ending the rainy season and bringing on the dry. A few years back los vientos de los muertos, as they’re called, toppled the water tank on our rooftop and tossed lawn chairs about the yard like leaves. Last October the …

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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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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 …

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Don’t Let Mexico Destroy the Monarch Migration

The magnificent annual migration of monarch butterflies from Canada to Mexico is in peril. The number of monarchs making the 3,000-mile trip each fall has plummeted by more than 90% over the past two decades. Despite the migration’s vulnerability, the Mexican government is moving forward with plans to open a highly polluting copper mine in …

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