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Why is it important to conserve the oyamel forest in Mexico?

Monarch butterflies form their winter colonies in Mexico's rare oyamel forest. The oyamel fir trees are found only at high elevations, at least 10,000 feet above sea level. Up high, the climate is cool and there is more precipitation than at lower elevations. Scientists think the monarchs select the oyamel forest because of its unique microclimate.

  • On the vegetation map above you can see where oyamel forests grow. Why is it so important to conserve Mexico's oyamel forests?
  • Map Challenge: What other facts can be found on maps? Collect different kinds of maps to learn about the unique characteristics of the monarch’s winter habitat. Share the information you find on each map.
Sample Maps to Explore

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