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University of Sonora Monitoring Monarchs in the Southwest

Biology students from the University of Sonora are recording the monarch butterfly migration through Sonora in Northern Mexico as part of the project “Cielo de Monarcas” (Sky of Monarchs).

July 13, 2023

Valeria Cañedo presents the 'Cielo de Monarcas' project

The “Cielo de Monarcas” (Sky of Monarchs) project was promoted during the Conservation Festival of Sonora and, 115 students and professors attended presentations and activities about the importance of the monarch and its migratory route.

Monitoring and surveys were conducted in the valleys and slopes of the Sierra El Espinazo Prieto mountain range located north of Hermosillo, Sonora. Following the Monarch Joint Venture adult monarch survey protocols, researchers found several species of milkweeds and butterflies but no monarchs. These desert scrub ecosystems collide with continuous and rapid housing development, becoming a pre-urban area heavily affected by human activities (hiking, biking, recreation) and invasive species. MBF is supporting this initiative to learn more about the southwest population of migratory monarchs and the availability of habitat to host them. An added benefit is that this project is also training the next generation of environmental leaders in México through conservation projects management workshops!

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