We should bow deeply before the orchid and the snail and join our palms reverently before the monarch butterfly and the magnolia tree. The feeling of respect for all species will help us recognize the noblest nature in ourselves. –Thích Nhất Hạnh
Overwintering Monarch Butterflies (Huntington Beach, California)
I’m honored to share with you some wonderful news:
Thanks to my blog entry about Overwintering Monarchs in Orange County, California, I get play a small part in a program designed to raise public awareness about overwintering spots for Monarch butterflies in Mexico!
A team of biologists from Ensenada approached me a while back, asking permission to use the photo I’ve reposted at the top of this page.
We have some pictures and diagrams of the Monarch but we don’t have pictures of the Monarch when they are clustered in the eucalyptus tree. We would like to have this pictures so people have an idea what to look for to find the Overwintering spots…. We applied thru the National Park of Sierra de San Pedro Mártir to get founds from the CONANP (National Commission of Protected Natural Areas) to raise awareness of the status of the Monarch Butterfly in Baja California. We got a [grant] to make a 2 day workshop for 20 people. We are inviting personal from the Natural Protected Areas from Baja California, also representatives of the Nongovernmental Organisations that work with Conservation and Wildlife in the area (Terra Peninsular, Pro Esteros, FASOL, etc). The workshop will be given by my fellow Biologist Ibes Favian Davila and Felipe Leon, who recently attended a Monarch Conservation Conference in Alamo Sonora…
As part of this public awareness project, biologist Saul Riatiga and his colleagues created posters and brochures that 1) distinguish the Monarch from other butterflies; 2) identify native milkweeds; and 3) describe Overwintering spots. These print materials will be shared among conservation groups, and will also be distributed to communities in and around Ensenada.
I was thrilled to see my photograph in this trifold brochure–while I don’t read Spanish, it speaks to a lifelong wish to make a positive difference in this beautiful world we share.
I’ve learned so much in the process of becoming a Monarch Waystation, and then witnessing the miracle of metamorphosis in my own backyard! So gratifying, to have my own experiences linked to this larger conservation project!
I’ve not yet mastered everything there is to know about Monarch Butterflies — not even close! — so I’m excited to see where this international partnership might lead.
Oh, the places you’ll go…
Dr. Seuss’s words couldn’t be more prescient. This what comes of indulging your curiosity and following your passions, wherever they might lead you. Because, as of my new scientist-friends so wisely said, “Nature doesn’t know about borders.”
You can follow this project on Facebook, at Monarchs en la Oeste. Community members will be interacting with scientists, sharing anecdotes and contributing photos to the overall data collection efforts.