We support environmental education programs that lead to a greater understanding, appreciation, and support of the challenge of monarch conservation. Our programs focus on engaging communities in conservation by providing training as eco-tour guides and in reforestation activities. Eco-tourism workshops combine indoor presentations and hands-on activities with outdoor field work to raise awareness about the importance of conserving the monarch overwintering sites. Participants learn basic monarch biology, including information on the part of the monarch life cycle that occurs in the United States and Canada, as well as skills that will help them become tour-guides and engage in monitoring activities.
Monarch Fund Documentary
MBF and other organizations are funding the documentary “Monarch Fund: 20 Years of Synergy for Conservation”. So far, eight filming sessions have been conducted in the monarch territory including interviews and meetings in community and ejido assemblies. The topics included forest use and management, deforestation, forest recovery, defending the land, tourism, and its importance for forest conservation. Additionally, those involved in the creation of the fund were interviewed to learn about its history, conservation strategy, and implementation.
Five short outreach videos with a simple and entertaining format are currently in process. Among the topics of these videos are the introduction to the Monarch Fund, the landowners and main partners of the fund, forest management, conservation payments, the importance of water for the Reserve and biodiversity conservation. The video clips and the finished documentary will highlight how the commitment to embrace payment for conservation services by the government authorities, non-profits and communities that own the forests is supporting decreased illegal logging and increasing forest cover in the MBBR’s core zone. MBF is pleased to partially fund this project and looks forward to seeing the resulting videos!
Beyond the Mexico Book Project
The Environmental Alliance of Georgia (EEA) this project originally estimated that Journey North’s Estela Romero would make thirty school (sixty classroom) visits to reach an estimated 1,400 students. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, in the end, she was able to make 53 visits reaching 1,137 students, nearly meeting the original goal! Most of the lessons were delivered in the communities in or surrounding the sanctuaries of Sierra Chincua and El Rosario. Due to the stringent restrictions at Cerro Pelón, only one visit was allowed in Macheros.
At each location, copies of the books Árboles: de la Semilla al Imponente Bosque (Trees: from Seed to Impressive Forest) and Escucha Hablar a los Árboles (Listen to the Trees Talk), were handed out. Estela’s blog is available at the Symbolic migration website (https://symbolicmigration.org/) where you will find detailed descriptions of her visits and more photos like the ones below:
The Red Monarca (Monarch Network – www.redmonarca.org) has consolidated its website incorporating the Community Water Monitoring Network and the Phenology Network to their platform. These organizations work with the communities in the MBBR and including them will expand and strengthen the digital platform, thus promoting and disseminating the protection, conservation, and development activities that they carry out in the monarch region.
The website has been updated with the most current content, and new technologies were added to improve performance of the network’s Geographic Information System and searches in the Documentation Center (DC). Another exciting and useful feature is the DC’s report page with a visually attractive interphase to search by different criteria. MBF is thrilled to see the consolidation of information for monarch enthusiasts all over North America!
Monitoring with Citizen Science in the West
On November 19, 2020, Terra Peninsular held a webinar inviting people to monitor and upload monarch sightings in the “Monarchs in the West” and “Correo Real” data bases in the iNaturalista web page. The webinar, carried out on Facebook Live, replaced the participatory workshop that was planned before COVID-19 and was attended by 26 people. However, more than 4,500 have watched the webinar video on YouTube (https://youtu.be/fP_TJRJ7WRM). Through January 2020 and February 2021, six sightings were recorded and 18 in the Mexico’s northwestern part (16 in 2020 and 2 in 2021). Additionally, in November 2020, visits were made to six previously registered locations in coastal Baja California to survey and monitor monarchs. Among the sites visited, very few monarch butterflies were found, with just four at the Real del Mar site in Tijuana. Some photos of the visited sites can be viewed on Flickr at https://flic.kr/s/aHsmUnkxUC.