Mexican Aid to Protect Monarchs

Calderon promises funds to stem illegal logging in butterflies' habitat
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2007 6:10 AM CST
Mexican President Felipe Calderon, second from right, his wife, Margarita Zavala, third from right, and their son, Luis Felipe, right, have their picture taken while talking to land owners at the Monarch...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The famous migrating monarch butterflies have a new ally in Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who yesterday said he would devote $4.6 million more to the central Mexican reserve where the butterflies hibernate—and crack down on the illegal logging that threatens the insects' habitat. Calderon hopes the measure will nurture tourism income as well as the environment, reports the AP.

Millions of orange-and-black monarchs make the 3,400-mile yearly commute from Canada and the US to their winter home in the Mexican mountains. The popular insects aren't endangered, but their migratory pattern is unique and draws tourists as well as scientists to the 124,000-acre "Mecca of the whole insect world."