The Monarch butterfly’s incredible migratory journey | Global Ideas | DW | 23.12.2014
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The Monarch butterfly’s incredible migratory journey

Millions of Monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico from Canada each winter. It doesn’t just make for a fascinating natural spectacle but is crucial for the entire ecosystem. Researchers are trying to find out exactly how.

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Project goal: finding out how the migratory journey of Monarch butterflies impacts the ecosystem
Investment: 4.75 million Euros within the framework of Germany’s International Climate Initiative (ICI)
Size: the Mariposa Monarca biosphere reserve in Mexico is spread over 56,000 hectares
Unique biodiversity: the Mariposa Monarca biosphere reserve is the destination of the Monarch butterfly that sets off from Canada each and flies over the US to reach its wintering grounds in Mexico
Status: the Monarch butterfly’s winter home was discovered in 1975 and is a UNESCO world heritage site since 2008

A butterfly weighs just about half a gram and yet this lightweight delicate creature plays a key role in keeping the ecosystem intact. Millions of Monarch butterflies migrate from the Northern hemisphere to Mexico for the winter. This natural spectacle draws thousands of visitors. But the butterflies aren’t just a tourist magnet. They help the farmers in the region by helping to pollinate their plants. In addition, the Mariposa Monarca biosphere reserve, where the butterflies live, helps secure the drinking water supply for Mexico City.

A film by Katja Losch

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