On July 26, 2022 the Crescencio Morales Indigenous Community along with Alternare reforested a piece of land owned by Mrs. Cayetana who is turning her corn field into forest! Alternare’s instructors along with community members and children all pitched in happily joining the effort. This is one of the last reforestations planned for this summer. Community and school nurseries continue being maintained to have enough trees for the 2023 reforestation. Images of this reforestation are below.
Today, July 21, 2022 is a good day for migrating monarch butterflies. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature ) has listed the monarch on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM as Endangered, threatened by habitat destruction and climate change. Because of the many threats the migratory monarch butterflies are facing, this is a step to creating more awareness among the people and more actions to mitigate the challenges for these beautiful creatures. An interview with MBF Board member, Dr. Karen Oberhauser by the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) can be found here. Click on the press release to learn more or click on this link to read an article by CTV.
Monarchs occupied a total of 2.84 hectares this overwintering season compared to 2.10 reported in the previous one. The first record of butterflies was documented on September 13 in Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila and the peak of the migration was registered in October 15. During the season, 10 colonies were recorded, six in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve and four outside of it. Karen Oberhauser, MBF board member, stated that current numbers indicate that, although this increase is hopeful, monarchs are not “out of the woods”. However, the numbers would be even lower without the efforts of dedicated individuals throughout North America. There is still much to do to help the monarchs! Read more at: Monarchs Winter Population 21-22.
We are happy to announce the two winners for the 2022 Brower Awards, Salvador Huitrón, from the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico and Darene Assadia from the University of Michigan!
Salvador is going to use historical information on the monarch butterfly colonies to analyze the social and economic variables that influence their winter habitat. He will also conduct surveys to prioritize the biophysical, social, and economic variables that may affect the vulnerability of monarch overwintering sites. Rounding up this research Salvador will model potential priority overwintering areas. MBF is happy to contribute to this effort to further improve our understanding of the monarch butterfly’s winter habitat.
Darene is going to quantify the role of the monarch’s olfactory and visual systems in locating nectar sources. Quantifying monarch perceptual ranges helps us understand how monarchs locate resources. Darene is posing several interesting experiments that will give us some insights on how vision and smell work to increase perceptual range in monarchs during foraging and whether monarch sensory cue perception changes in summer non-migrants and fall migrants. This work will be an excellent follow-up to the work conducted by past Brower awardee Libesha Anparasan.
Recently, journalist Rodrigo Caballero visited the Carpinteros indigenous community and published an article titled “Carpinteros, the Place Where Avocado Saved the Forest” (Click here for the English translation) where he tells us how the Otomi community managed to balance planting avocados and the conservation of their forests. The people from Carpinteros managed to reforest more than 40 thousand trees in 2020 and 2021 alone thanks to support from Alternare and the local governments. Undoubtedly the support that MBF provides to Alternare every year to support reforestation is not only helping communities produce organic avocados but is also yielding lots of positive fruits and benefits!
Board member Isabel Ramirez, visted the colonies to do her research and sent us the below photographs of the monarch colonies in Sierra Chincua. The butterflies are densely clustered around the oyamels and the pines. Stunning sight for sure!