Reforestation and forest restoration in the monarch’s Mexican overwintering sites and surrounding areas are important for the well-being of the local residents and for the monarch butterfly. We support comprehensive, science-based reforestation and conservation projects that engage local communities.
The partnerships MBF has established with different organizations have helped us support reforestation projects within the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (MBBR). Our collaboration with Alternare and CIGA (UNAM’s Center for Research in Environmental Geography), which started in 2011 has led to successful reforestation of many areas and strengthened our relationships with the local communities who participate in our projects.
With MBF’s support, Alternare, along with ten local communities planted 22,515 trees on 21.52 hectares in 26 areas within the buffer zone of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve! Pine, oak, birch, and ash seedlings were extracted from 16 school nurseries, three community nurseries and one located in Alternare’s training center. Map of the areas that were reforested is below.
Aside from the reforestation, this year Alternare made two evaluations: 1) reforestation survival rates (i.e., once planted, how many trees survived) for the 2016-2018 period which resulted in an average rate of 62.19%; and 2) reforestation permanence (i.e., if the tree remains and for how long) for the 2011- 2015 period. Permanence was classified using three criteria according to tree presence: good (more than 50% trees present), moderate (30 – 49%) and poor (0 – 29% ). Of the 17 sites sampled, eight in an area of 24.75 hectares, presented good permanence, three in 11.7 hectares had moderate permanence and six in 18.41 hectares were poor.
Ecological Restoration in Sierra Chincua
Since 2012, the Monarch Fund with the participation of local communities, the MBBR’s Directorship, research centers, technical advisors and civil society organizations carry out reforestation initiatives in the monarch butterfly overwintering sites in Sierra Chincua, within the framework of the Good Management Practices for Conservation Programs and with financial support from MBF Monarch Butterfly Fund.
During June and July 2021 areas of the overwintering sites in Sierra Chincua and Cerro Pelón that have been affected by climate change were reforested with 10,000 oyamels. During subsequent months five additional hectares were reforested in Sierra Chincua and three in La Lagunita in Cerro Pelón. La Lagunita is the place where the first colony of monarch butterflies was found in 1975 so although it’s small, it’s considered historically significant.