We have reports that as of November 3 – right on schedule – the first monarchs have reached their winter home in the mountains west of Mexico City. Their remarkable life cycle continues!
Our summer reforestation is complete! Our local partner in Mexico, Alternare, was joined by 700 hundred members from 7 local communities and planted 27,835 trees in 20 hectares of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve’s buffer zone.
Communities were excited and enthusiastic taking care the seedlings were planted properly and in the locations they selected themselves. Plans to monitor and protect the recently forested areas are underway with local surveillance committees instituted to make sure the trees are safe from loggers. Local engagement has proved to be the most successful strategy prompting communities to take ownership of conservation and stewardship of their forests.
But that is not all! We also held a workshop to construct a cistern for a community with the participation of 2 women and 12 men and another7 workshops to build fuel-efficient stoves with 59 women and 3 men. We built 56 stoves! Proudly standing by a completed stove for her family, a participant expressed her satisfaction: “Building this stove will enable me to spend time with my family and keep them healthy because we don’t have as much smoke and we are saving wood.”
Thank you very much for your generous support which is making all this possible. We are looking forward to an overwintering season with a higher population of monarchs!
Karen Oberhauser of the University of Minnesota and a Director of the Monarch Butterfly Fund has recently published an article that shows: (1) citizen science has the potential to play a key role in conservation outreach, (2) volunteers obtain conservation information and support from citizen science projects, (3) volunteers become more involved in conservation after joining citizen science, and (4) conservation information and encouragement are linked to conservation action. You may read the abstract of the article here.
The White House recently announced a plans to save the monarchs by building a butterfly highway. Read all about it in the Washington Post and listen to a wonderful interview on the BBC with Karen Oberhauser.
If you’re interesed in reading more about the latest scientific research and information on monarch butteflies the book, “Monarchs in a Changing World: Biology and Conservation of an Iconic Butterfly” is now available at Amazon Smile. Edited by board member Karen Oberhauser, Kelly Nail and Sonia Altizer, it is an excellent resource for everyone interested in monarch butterflies.