Raising awareness in Tamaulipas on Monarch butterflies

Jaumave is a feeding territory for the butterflies on their way to Mexico from North America
Monarch butterfly – File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
13/11/2017
15:45
Jaumave, Tamaulipas
Roberto Aguilar
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When the inhabitants of the common land Magdaleno Aguilar in the northern state of Tamaulipas saw butterflies flying over their land, they believed it was the souls of the deceased which returned during the Day of the Dead.

The perseverance of researchers, however, has been fruitful. Now, the people in this community know these insects are the famous Monarch butterflies, who stop in their land on their way to the different sanctuaries in Mexico.

With adequate education, the inhabitants of “Santiaguillo” (as the common land is also called) are now capable of protecting the routes these butterflies take when visiting their land.

Tourist guide Gloria Bocanegra further explains this situation: “Before, the people would cut all these plants because they didn't know the plants were a source of food for Monarch butterflies.” Now, the vegetation is preserved.

Authorities, researchers, and institutions have joined efforts to educate the locals and teach them how to protect this species.

This year, the Ministry of Urban Development and the Environment, together with the Commission of Parks and Biodiversity of Tamaulipas gave a series of training courses to raise awareness on the importance of the preservation of the Monarch butterfly.

Over 150 people from the towns of Matamoros, Reynosa, Valle Hermoso, and others, signed up for a free bus tour to be taken to the common land of Magdaleno Aguilar to watch the arrival of the Monarch butterfly.

“I really liked this experience, because I thought I had to travel to Michoacán to see the butterflies, and it turns out we have this natural spectacle here,” says Antonio Torres, who found out about the tours and signed up.

On their way to warmer climates, each year Monarch butterflies pass through the town of Jaumave, starting around October 18 and all the way through mid-November.

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