Organic fertiliser helps Monarch Butterflies

2014-10-21 10:56

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Mexico City - Using an organic fertiliser, a conservationist from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), leads an award-winning project to reforest the sanctuary of monarch butterflies.

It's one of the insect world's most fantastic feats, the mass migration of monarch butterflies to their winter home in Mexico.

The 4828km journey begins in Canada and takes the butterflies into this fir tree lined forest, where conservationists are getting ready for their arrival.

Nazario Archundia and others are scattering a newly developed organic fertilizer they say is ideal for the butterflies. The land here has been polluted he says, due to the overuse of chemical fertilisers.

Local community member Nazario Archundia, said "research has shown they damage the land's fertility, causing erosion that is making people sick and harming the environment”.

Dr Pablo Jaramillo, of Ecosystems Research, developed the organic fertiliser to protect the winged creatures and also to help renew the forest.

The compound is made of a mixture of cow manure, harvest stumps, powdered brown sugar, inoculated yeast and micro-organisms that favour decomposition. Jaramillo explains that the fertilizer has just the right pH balance to benefit the trees and the butterflies.

Pablo Jaramillo from the ecosystems research centre (CIECO) at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), said "as soon as we used this fertiliser, we started to recover the biodiversity of the land and we started to encourage a new cycle of nutriments to become available."

Fertiliser alone isn't enough. He says ensuring the viability of communities and ecosystems surrounding these forests require the help of locals.

"You kill two birds with one stone. Abandoned plots of land that were once used for agricultural purposes may be reforested and pressure is reduced in the central area where monarch butterflies arrive. Since the project started, more than 30Ha of forest have already begun regenerating monarch habitat.”

Below is a video of the majestic monarch butterflies.

Read more on:    mexico  |  insects  |  conservation

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