Monarch Butterfly Update: February 10, 1998
Monarch Butterfly Migration Updates Will be Posted on TUESDAYS:
We begin this spring with some very discouraging news that just arrived from the monarch over-wintering area
in Mexico. Dr. Lincoln Brower, quoting a story from the Roanoke Times, reports that illegal loggers cut 660 Oyamel
fir trees in and adjacent to the San Andreas monarch colony, killing two to four million monarch butterflies and
destroying their habitat.
Said Brower, "My scientist colleagues and I have termed the overwintering phenomenon and migration of the Monarch Butterfly in North America an 'Endangered Biological Phenomenon'. I have predicted collapse of the eastern migratory population over the next two decades because of continuing deforestation in Mexico. If the alleged destruction is true, here is compelling evidence of the precariousness of the situation."
Also attending last November's NAFTA Monarch conference were many of Mexico's peasants who live in the same
region with the butterflies. This soft-spoken man was quite unlike the image one would have of an illegal logger.
He told his story, then asked: "Are butterflies more important than people?"
Explained one student, "While the people understand the ecological importance of the trees around them,
they also know that logging is one of their only sources of income. Each ejido family receives 10,000 to 12,000
pesos annually ($1,463) in logging profits. The other primary source of income for the community is through selling
crops. However the cool climate permits only one harvest per year and most of what is grown is for home consumption.
Scientists, politicians and concerned citizens of Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are now struggling to resolve these difficult issues.
Challenge Question #3
(To respond to this Challenge Question, please follow the instructions at the end of this report.)
Cycling Through Controversy
While the monarchs rest in Mexico for the final 8 weeks of the winter, you will meet people with different perspectives on this problem. One way to help understand controversy is through role-playing, since our views are usually based on how things affect us personally. As a class, plan to identify as many different viewpoints as you can. Research the facts and opinions of each. Then debate the issues in your class as described in this lesson:
How to Respond to Journey North Monarch Challenge Question # 3
1. Address an e-mail message to: email@example.com
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question # 3
3. In the body of the message, give your answer to this question:
The Next Monarch Butterfly Migration Update Will be Posted on February 17, 1998.
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