Illegal logging activities in Mexican butterfly sanctuaries are destroying the Oyamel Fir trees that migrating monarchs need to survive. Habitat loss along the entire monarch butterfly migratory route has decreased size of Mexico’s monarch overwintering sites by at least 84% over the last 20 years. Low population numbers means that we could be one winter storm away from extinguishing the monarchs’ migratory roosts in Mexico entirely.
The IBBA has chosen to go right to the source when it comes to protecting monarchs by teaming up with Butterflies and Their People, AC. This amazing non-profit hires local people to assist in the protection of the butterfly forest. These folks are being trained as arborists at Cerro Pelón, Mexico, where they are being paid to monitor colony size, monitor reforestation efforts, monitor natural regeneration for comparison, and to keep an accurate record of the incidence of illegal logging.
How Can I Help?
Simple – you can donate. 100% of your donation will go directly to Butterflies and Their People, AC
The Butterflies and Their People forest gaurdians need walkie talkies so they can communicate with each other on the mountain, binoculars, feed and hay for their horses. Even smaller items, like thermal socks, thermoses, or fingerless gloves could help improve their work lives and in turn help save forest land vital to wild monarch survival.
From Butterflies and Their People
This is from Ellen who is working on the project:
“We’ve started a project to hire local people to work in forest protection. Illegal logging is a huge problem in the butterfly forest, especially in the off-season when there’s no revenue from butterfly tourism. The declining monarch population has made an intact forest and the protective micro-climate it affords more crucial than ever. But a lack of economic alternatives has pushed many of our neighbors into cutting trees to get by.”
“We currently have three forest arborists working full time patrolling the Cerro Pelon sanctuary. Two of them are former loggers. Since they started working in September, there have been zero illegal logging incidents on the mountain. (290 trees were cut over the summer.) We have partial funding from the Monarch Butterfly Fund for one year, but the budget does not cover many items like walkie talkies so they can communicate with each other on the mountain, binoculars, or feed and hay for their horses. Even smaller items, like thermal socks, thermoses, or fingerless gloves could help improve their work lives–it gets quite frigid spending all day up at 10,000 ft.”