40 Years Ago the World ‘Discovered’ Mexico’s Monarch Habitat — Today Its Survival Is at Stake

MEXICO CITY — Forty years ago the winter habitat of the monarch butterfly in Mexico was supposedly discovered. After searching for decades, on January 9, 1975 the Canadian scientist Fred A. Urquhart, an entomologist at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough College, received a phone call from an American living in Mexico City named Kenneth Brugger, […]

Last Call For the Monarchs

Homero Aridjis is a Mexican poet and environmental activist. His seminal work is “1492: The Life and Times of Juan Cabezón of Castile.” In 1985, he organized the Group of 100 — a group of prominent artists and writers, including Octavio Paz, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Rufino Tamayo — to defend biodiversity in Mexico and […]

Last Call For the Monarchs (new)

Homero Aridjis is a Mexican poet and environmental activist. His seminal work is “1492: The Life and Times of Juan Cabezón of Castile.” In 1985, he organized the Group of 100 — a group of prominent artists and writers, including Octavio Paz, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Rufino Tamayo — to defend biodiversity in Mexico and […]

These Three Amigos Can Save The Monarch:

President Barack Obama President Enrique Peña Nieto Prime Minister Stephen Harper Honorable Gentlemen: Among the countless organisms that have evolved during the history of life on earth, monarch butterflies are among the most extraordinary. Sadly, their unique multigenerational migration across our large continent, their spectacular overwintering aggregations on the volcanic mountains in central Mexico, and […]

Gold for the Monarchs

During a recent visit to the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary on Sierra Pelon, I found an extensive area in the core zone, beside the Llano de los Gobernadores, where all that remained were trunks of mature oyamel trees, carpets of sawdust and beams cut with chainsaws that were waiting to be taken down by the wood […]

Chain Saw Thins Flocks of Migrants on Gold Wings

CONTEPEC, Mexico, March 9 – Homero Aridjis, a poet and naturalist, can remember years when monarch butterflies filled the streets here in his hometown like a living torrent of orange and black and stayed all winter on the fir-covered mountain rising above the village. Not this year. The colony of butterflies that arrived here in […]

Marked for Death

Every butterfly that arrives in Mexico makes, for the first time, the journey from the United States or Canada. Should the brutal deforestation continue, one day they will arrive to patches of dust. For this reason it is imperative that the government declare a moratorium on the logging of oyamel trees in the Monarch Reserve […]

Biologists Fret As Mexico Butterfly Numbers Dive

A migrating Monarch butterfly sits atop a branch at the Sierra Chincua sanctuary at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, in the state of Michoacan, Mexico. Photo by HENRY ROMERO EL ROSARIO – A plunge in the number of monarch butterflies migrating from the United States and Canada to Mexican winter colonies has experts worried logging […]