Mexico cuts down trees to save monarch butterflies

The annual wintering grounds of the monarch butterflies are clearly recognized as a valuable natural asset to Mexico. A rare forest provides the protection needed for the butterflies who migrate from North America, including some which fly from Prince William County to go south of the border.  The pattern of trees in that forest creates a microclimate that is warm enough for “our” butterflies who made the journey, and keep them from freezing to death until the cycle begins next spring.

Mexico is actively managing the monarch wintering site now, protecting it from loggers who were cutting holes in the forest pattern and altering the microclimate.  However, now Mexico is selectively removing trees infected with bark beetles, before those insects spread and result in the death of the entire forest.  The forest is an actively-managed wildlife refuge, not a wilderness area where nature takes its course.

You can read more in the October 21 issue of the Christian Science Monitor.

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