To Save Monarch Butterfly, Mexican Scientists Move Forest Up A Mountain

"As a boy, Francisco Ramirez Cruz loved hiking with his grandfather up into the mountains of central Mexico. While the old man grazed sheep or hunted for wild mushrooms, Ramirez would play amid the throngs of monarch butterflies that migrated 3,000 miles to this forest each autumn, turning the blue sky into a sea of orange.

Ramirez is 75 now, himself a great-grandfather, and each winter he still goes looking for butterflies. But these days, he might spend hours searching the forest without catching sight of a single one.

The world is losing monarch butterflies at a startling rate, as logging, herbicides and other human activities destroy natural habitats. But the biggest threat yet has only recently come into focus. Climate change, with its extreme storms, prolonged droughts and warming temperatures, is poised to eradicate the forest that serves as the butterfly’s winter refuge.

To help his beloved butterflies, Ramirez has partnered with scientists on a monumental experiment: They are trying to move an entire forest 1,000 feet up a mountain."

Kate Linthicum reports for the Los Angeles Times April 9, 2019.

Source: LA Times, 04/10/2019