Mexico City, Oct 9 (EFE).- The deforestation of Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve experienced a 57 percent drop in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to a report released by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on Tuesday.
In a press release, the organization informed that only 6.7 hectares (16.6 acres) were ravaged from February 2017 to March 2018, compared to the 15.8 hectares (39 acres) affected the previous year.
“The forest’s degradation has dropped due to a decrease in large-scale illegal logging operations, the end of the damages caused by the 2016 storms and the absence of weather events,” Jorge Rickards, head of WWF Mexico, said.
The institution also said, however, that even though deforestation dropped, illegal logging is on the rise, going from 0.6 hectares (1.5 acres) between 2016 and 2017, to 1.4 between 2017 and 2018.
The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve is a protected area 56,259 hectares (34,958 acres) in size, including a 13,551-hectare (33,480-acre) nucleus between Michoacan and Mexico states, which is the main region chosen by the butterflies to overwinter.
Every year, millions of monarch butterflies make the 4,000-km (2,485.5-mi) trip south from Canada and the United States to escape the sub-zero temperatures during the winter months.
The reserve is also home to as many as 132 bird species, 56 mammal types, 432 varieties of vascular plants and 211 mushrooms.
The forests also help filter water to the Cutzamala system to be used by the 4.1 million people living in the greater Mexico City area.