For those Monarch enthusiasts among us — here is a welcome good news story. I only wonder if it’s too little, too late?
Read the full article here: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2011-07-21-mexico-monarch-butterflies_n.htm
Logging drops further in Mexico butterfly reserve By MARK STEVENSON, Associated Press MEXICO CITY (AP) — Deforestation in the wintering grounds of the Monarch butterfly in central Mexico has dropped to just over one acre’s worth of trees, compared to the hundreds of acres lost annually in the past, experts said Thursday. And fewer of the pine and fir trees that shelter the butterflies have been lost to bad weather this year, according to a report by researchers from Mexico’s National Autonomous University and the Monarch Fund.
Illegal logging in the protected butterfly reserve dropped from 1.56 hectares in the 2009 winter season to just under a half hectare (about one acre) in the reserve’s core zone during this year’s winter. “This is what happens when you have enforcement of the law, and economic alternatives for the inhabitants,” said Omar Vidal, whose environmental group, the Worldwide Fund for Nature, has contributed along with cellphone company Telcel to economic development projects like tree nurseries in the reserve.
Mexican federal and state police forces have also cracked down on illegal logging in the 13,550-hectare (33,482-acre) reserve and in a larger buffer zone around the park where logging is also prohibited. The reserve is inhabited by communities of small farmers who once looked upon logging as a way to supplement their incomes. At its peak in 2005, logging devastated as many as 461 hectares (1,140 acres) annually.