Safeguarding the Butterfly Sanctuary

43544052_1574278829125781_r.jpegThe monarch migration is in trouble. The number of overwintering butterflies has dropped by 90% over the last two decades. The monarchs spend more than a third of the year on a few acres of high-altitude fir forest in central Mexico, where they need an intact forest canopy to protect them from the elements. But the monarchs’ Mexican neighbors are poor, and illegal logging of the butterfly sanctuary is an ongoing problem.

In November 2017, non-profit Butterflies & Their People  hired three local people to patrol the Cerro Pelon butterfly forest full-time. Individual donors funded a fourth arborist, who started in spring of 2018. Clandestine logging of Cerro Pelon's core protected area decreased 81% since the arborists started work. And the economic fortunes of four families improved. Oswaldo bought a herd of sheep, Jose Carmen added a floor to his house, Francisco enrolled his oldest at university, and Leonel broke ground on a new home.

We have enough funding to keep paying the arborists through the end of the butterfly season in March 2020. But when the monarchs depart and take the tourism jobs with them, the forest is especially vulnerable. We need your help to continue and expand this successful program of forest protection for another year. 

Butterflies & Their People  has no administrative overhead. All funds raised go directly to paying arborist salaries and purchasing essential supplies. Please give what you can. The dollar is strong against the peso and costs of living in the Mexican countryside are low: $200 USD covers horse feed for a year, $75 USD pays one worker for a week.

As of last year, the eastern monarch population is on the rebound, but it will take constant vigilance to protect this fragile gain. Thank you for helping us to safeguard this natural wonder for future generations!

Ellen Sharp
Director
Butterflies & Their People, AC
Macheros, Mexico

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Ellen Sharp 
Organizer
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