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Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico

by Monarch Butterfly Fund
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Community Conservation of Monarch Forest in Mexico
Child from El Santisimo with pine tree for nursery
Child from El Santisimo with pine tree for nursery

After a successful overwintering season, monarchs are heading north and MBF is getting the forest ready for the next season by supporting the summer 2019 reforestation. Alternare and 30 local school and community nurseries are getting ready to plant an estimated 24,000 trees on 20 hectares. These trees resulted from the hard work of students, parents, teachers, and community members who received support and follow-up visits from Alternare’s team twice a month. In the words of an eight-year-old from Crescencio Morales Indigenous Community in El Santísimo, “We are looking forward to this summer to get a break from school and begin planting all the trees we grew in our nursery!”

Additionally, thirty-eight women and two men participated in five workshops on construction and maintenance of fuel-efficient stoves which resulted in the construction of 21 stoves, mostly built by women. Four cisterns to capture rain water were also built providing clean and potable water to the Carpinteros, Capulín, and Santa Ana Ocampo communities.

As the monarchs did this past winter, we also hoping for a successful reforestation season and to continue our support for the workshops that empower the local communities and foster sustainable practices. Thank you for supporting the forests, the monarchs, and the local communities!

Children from El Santisimo working on nursery
Children from El Santisimo working on nursery
Woman from Zirahauato IC with fuel-efficient stove
Woman from Zirahauato IC with fuel-efficient stove
Locals from Santa Ana Ocampo finishing cistern
Locals from Santa Ana Ocampo finishing cistern
Overwintering monarchs on February 6, 2019
Overwintering monarchs on February 6, 2019

Overwintering populations of monarchs are doing very well compared to last year. The surface covered by butterfly colonies went up 144% with a total area of 6.05 hectares (14.95 acres) occupied by 14 butterfly colonies versus 2.48 hectares (6.13 acres) last year.

This is certainly encouraging news, but it doesn't mean our work is over. Insect populations fluctuate and monarch populations have been on a downward trend so we can't let down our guard. That is why during the last 3 months of the year we continued our workshops with the local communities resulting in the construction of 17 fuel-efficient stoves and two cisterns that will supply seven families and one school with rain-water. We carried out a total of four workshops in which 28 women and five men participated.

Considering that one of the main threats to the migratory phenomenon is deforestation due to changes in land use, MBF aims to restore the forest. However, it’s not just a matter of planting trees but of evaluating whether they survive. During this period, with the indigenous communities of Crescencio Morales, Francisco Serrato and Nicolás Romero, we conducted an evaluation of reforestation survival rates for 2015-2017. Our results indicated that there was an average survival rate of 86% and all of our reforestations presented a survival rate greater than 60%,

The areas with the highest survival rates were due to community surveillance and fencing of the reforested areas. As Don Jose from Crescencio Morales told us “We have to be vigilant and take care of our trees. We are happy to see that most of the trees we planted have survived!“

Just like the high monarch population numbers the survival rates give us hope but we need to continue our efforts. Therefore, during the coming months, we will start planning our 2019 reforestation and continue strengthening the conservation of the forest, the migratory phenomenon while improving the lives of the local communities!

THANK YOU for sticking with us through the fluctuations of monarch populations and the challenge of providing a well-conserved forest to overwinter when they migrate while strengthening the local communities with sustainable alternatives.

Man in the reforestations in C. Morales community
Man in the reforestations in C. Morales community
Man in the reforestations in C. Morales community
Man in the reforestations in C. Morales community
Bagging Seedlings for Nursery in Macheros School
Bagging Seedlings for Nursery in Macheros School

While Mexico is busy celebrating the Day of the Dead, monarchs started to arrive at their overwintering sites and local communities and kids are eagerly welcoming them! Especially one kid we met with last year who told us how excited he was planting trees to host the monarchs upon their arrival on this magical day that is celebrated in Mexico and through the month of November.

MBF and Alternare continued working in the monarch area supporting 140 men and women from two indigenous communities to build nine cisterns to collect rainwater thus providing access to water for twenty-eight families. Another workshop was held for nine people who built fuel-efficient stoves that will save wood and prevent respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases in their communities.

As one community member told us, “Now we can cook our tortillas without clogging our lungs!”

Additionally, twenty-two school and six community nurseries with the capacity to produce 20,000 pine and oak trees, are being set up in seven indigenous communities. These trees will come in handy for the 2019 reforestation next summer!

THANK YOU for joining us in all these exciting projects that are conserving the forest and improving the lives of local communities.

Women from Macho de Agua Finishing Stove
Women from Macho de Agua Finishing Stove
Placing Mesh Cylinder for Cistern
Placing Mesh Cylinder for Cistern
Campesino digging to begin planting trees
Campesino digging to begin planting trees

As monarchs flutter over Canada and the U.S., Mexico is busy preparing for their arrival at the overwintering sites in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. MBF supported Alternare and six indigenous communities to reforest 28 hectares on 14 sites with 30,000 trees produced in collective nurseries. A total of 640 people including women, men and children participated in the reforestation. This total includes 170 students from four communities that participated in four tree-planting workshops and the reforestation itself. “I am so excited to plant these trees to welcome the wonderful butterflies when they arrive on the Day of the Dead!” exclaimed an eight-year old as she planted a pine seedling.

 Additionally, 14 workshops on cisterns to collect rain water were held with the participation of 190 women and 189 men from three indigenous communities. As a result, these communities now have water available to drink, cook, wash dishes, take care of their personal hygiene, tend their vegetable gardens and many other tasks.

 All this would not be possible without your support. Thank you for being our partners in conservation!!

Kids removing pine trees from bags to plant
Kids removing pine trees from bags to plant
Children transporting trees for reforestation
Children transporting trees for reforestation
Kids planting a pine tree
Kids planting a pine tree
Getting Seedlings Ready
Getting Seedlings Ready

Monarchs have already arrived up north including Canada! In the meantime, local communities in Mexico are busy setting up the summer reforestation so monarchs find a restored forest upon their arrival next fall. “Our trees are all ready to be planted and we are all looking forward to watch them grow!” exclaimed Nora, a community member from Cresencio Morales proudly showing the pine seedlings in the community nursery.

With MBF funding, Alternare and the communities participated in five workshops during March, April, and May. Forty-two women and twenty men from four indigenous communities and from one communal property (ejido) participated in four workshops about building cisterns and one on fuel-efficient stove construction and management. As a result, six communities are capturing rain-water in their new cisterns and three families are enjoying cooking their food in their fuel-efficient stoves.

We are looking forward to this summer’s reforestation and eager to continue monitoring the results of the plots that are undergoing natural regeneration.

THANK YOU FOR BEING OUR CONSERVATION PARTNERS!!

Carpinteros Community Completing a Cistern
Carpinteros Community Completing a Cistern
Tree Nursery in Carpinteros Community
Tree Nursery in Carpinteros Community
 

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Organization Information

Monarch Butterfly Fund

Location: Madison, WI - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @mbfmonarchs
Project Leader:
Monica Missrie
Madison, WI United States
$50,144 raised of $80,000 goal
 
1,127 donations
$29,856 to go
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