MEXICO CITY - Deforestation in the wintering grounds of the monarch butterfly in central Mexico has dropped to just over an acre’s worth of trees, compared with the hundreds of acres lost annually in the past, specialists said Thursday.
And fewer of the pine and fir trees that shelter the butterflies have been lost to bad weather this year, according to a report by researchers from Mexico’s National Autonomous University and the Monarch Fund.
Illegal logging in the butterfly reserve dropped from 3.85 acres in the 2009 winter season to just under an acre in the reserve’s core zone during this year’s winter.
“This is what happens when you have enforcement of the law, and economic alternatives for the inhabitants,’’ said Omar Vidal of the Worldwide Fund for Nature.
Federal and state police forces have also cracked down on illegal logging in the 33,482-acre reserve and in a larger buffer zone around the park.