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Mexico, home of the monarch butterfly

Rutopía editorial team
Rutopía editorial team
- min read

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Of all the emblematic animals that Mexico hosts, the monarch butterfly occupies a special place. Although it is the most delicate of all living beings and weighs less than a gram, it performs every year, without being dragged by the winds, a migration that is among the most incredible sights of the animal kingdom

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And we are lucky that its journey of thousands of miles ends here. As a matter of fact, Mexico is a genuine sanctuary for monarch butterflies. The climate and vegetation of the states of Mexico and Michoacán allow them to accumulate the reserves they need to reproduce and cross back the continent.  

Monarch butterfly migration, a dazzling enigma of nature

Each year, the monarch butterfly goes through an impressive 4,000-kilometer journey with its delicate wings. Its trip begins in autumn from Canada and the northeastern United States and ends in the mountains of Mexico around the Day of the Dead celebration. In early spring, the return of millions of butterflies to the north begins. This journey is extraordinary for several reasons. 



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First, because it is beautiful. The orange color of the monarchs turns their flight into gigantic ochre-colored clouds that dance with poetry. And when they perch on the branches arriving in Mexico, the spectacle is just as magical. Like huge bouquets of flowers caressed by the wind, the butterflies bring the trees to life. 

Apart, as it is a miracle of nature. Between 100 and 200 million monarchs travel up to 120 km a day. Of course, a single butterfly cannot make it all the way. It takes five generations of butterflies to complete this journey. And this animal’s fabulous sense of direction remains a mystery. What is certain is that in captivity it loses its migratory capacity. It is therefore essential that it can develop in its natural environment. 


Mexico, a valuable refuge for the monarch butterfly 

Mexico, as a natural refuge for the monarch butterfly, has been taking measures to guarantee its conservation for years. Reserves and protected areas were established to preserve them, such as the Corral de Piedra Ecotourism Park, which borders the hibernation area of the Piedra Herrada sanctuary in the state of Mexico, or the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacán, where you can observe them in their natural habitat.

On another note, more than 9,000 hectares have been reforested and sustainable tourism projects that you can be part of are being developed. To sum up these efforts, the Action Plan for the Conservation of the Monarch Butterfly in Mexico 2018-2024 of the Mexican government aims to achieve a greater occupation of forests by this species.


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In fact, Mexican’s cloud forests offer the perfect climate and flora for the hibernation and reproduction of the monarch butterflies. They provide the microclimate that guarantees their survival. Thanks to the heat emitted by their branches, the oyamel trees give them the energy and fat reserves they need. From November to February, the butterflies offer an unreal spectacle that must be seen once in a lifetime. 



The migration of monarch butterflies is decreasing considerably. More than 90% of the population of this species has disappeared in the last decade. With us, observe butterflies in their natural habitat to understand their fragility and, at your level, help preserve them.


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