Each fall the monarch butterfly travels thousands of miles to spend the winter in the forests on 12 mountaintops in central Mexico. The monarch migration is the most spectacular two-way migration carried out by an insect.
The forests provide unique microclimatic conditions that allow monarchs to survive the winter. Forest degradation is putting this amazing migration in peril.
The abundance of monarchs shows a discouraging downward trend over the past 20+ years. Click on the graph to enlarge and on this link to read how the numbers were obtained.
In the Spotlight
The overwintering season started a bit earlier this year! Since the last days of October, hundreds of butterflies could be seen from the roads around the MBBR flying towards the forests. This spectacular arrival continued for two more weeks and ended the weekend of November 13-14 when the colonies were already established. The colonies will be officially open to tourism until November 27 in Sierra Chincua, El Rosario, and La Mesa and Cerro Pelón will remain closed. In the photo below, taken in the Monarch Reserve’s buffer zone by Isabel Ramírez, we see some monarchs on Buddleia flowers making a last stop before heading to the overwintering sites.