Conservation

COVID-19 in Mexico: Thoughts on the Conservation Crisis That Got Us Here

“You have to explain it to him,” Pato said again. It was almost sunset in our tiny farming community at the entry of one of the monarch butterfly sanctuaries. We were waiting for his uncle to emerge from his sprawling warren of a home. I was peering through the panes of their corner store, where …

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March 2020: Monarchs Remigrate, Leaving Questions in their Wake

The monarchs started a long, staggered departure in mid-February. On Cerro Pelon, part of the colony stuck with their second roosting site above El Llano until the end of the season. Other pioneers flitted about lower altitude locations along the ravine below the meadow. Every sunny day, monarchs streamed down from their perches, turning La …

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Bad News at the Butterflies: Reactions to the El Rosario Murders

Mexico’s monarch butterfly sanctuaries made international news last month. It began with the disappearance of the administrator of the El Rosario sanctuary, Homero Gómez Gonzalez, on January 13, followed by the appearance of his lifeless body two weeks later. The bad news kept coming when a second body, that of Raul Hernandez, was also found …

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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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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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