Data acquired March 22, 2004
4370 x 5659
7 MB - JPEG
Data acquired February 23, 2008
4370 x 5659
6 MB - JPEG
540 x 853
Each year millions of monarch butterflies migrate thousands of miles back and forth from wintering grounds in Mexico to their breeding locations in the eastern United States and Canada. In the fall, the monarchs return to just 12 forested mountaintops in central Mexico, where they form colonies in which millions of butterflies cluster on the trunks and branches of the trees. Despite the creation of protected areas and reserves, illegal logging has been steadily shrinking this unique, critical monarch habitat.
Images by Robert Simmon and Daniel Slayback, based on data © GeoEye. Interpretation and analysis provided by Lincoln Brower, Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, Virginia; Daniel Slayback, Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Lanham, MD; and Isabel Ramirez, Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
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Published March 7, 2008