While the monarch butterfly is our main concern, many other organisms also inhabit the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (MBBR). This year, MBF funded a project to organize, review, process, and analyze several acoustic, ultrasonic and wildlife camera files collected during 2016 in the MBBR by several NGOs (members of the Monarch Network-Red Monarca) as part of the existing data base in the National System to Monitor Biodiversity (SNMB).
Led by Belinda Ibarra López, independent consultant, in collaboration with the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature (FMCN), this project will improve the information on species dynamics and their populations over time.
FMCN received 39,520 files which were organized, classified, and integrated into 62 fauna databases. Forty five percent of the data was analyzed and a total of 86 species were identified, out of which 31% are not registered in the MBBR´s Management Plan. Specifically, 60 species of birds were identified in the acoustic files, 15 of bats in the ultrasonic recordings and 11 of mammals in wildlife cameras. The bat pictured on the left is under special protection and is endemic to Mexico.
The results not only helped to learn about species’ presence, abundance and activity patterns but will allow researchers to update species distribution maps, conduct censuses of the domestic fauna, detect and map habitat fragmentation among other things. All this data will contribute to better management practices in the protected area such as restricting human activities in certain areas during relevant periods for the health of wildlife populations and identify priority areas to promote the connectivity of forest landscapes among others.
MBF is very excited with the contribution this research will make to improve the MBBR’s Management Plan. Additionally, government institutions, the Reserve and local communities are all collaborating and now, thanks to this research, have the necessary tools to make informed decisions to implement the best management strategies for the area that are compatible with the ecological requirements. This will promote the ecological integrity of the MBBR and protect wildlife, the forest, and our beloved monarchs!