The Canadian researchers Fred and Nora Urquhart investigated the phenomenon from 1940, culminating in the discovery of the hibernation sites in central Mexico in 1975. They designed the tiny labels that adhere to the butterflies and recruited thousands of volunteers to map the migration. In 1976, the magazine National Geographic published the great finding of the hibernation sites by two volunteers: Ken Brugger and Catalina Aguado (Trail). However, only 40 years after one of the most fabulous discoveries in history, the populations of Monarch butterfly have diminished drastically. Below are presented the main milestones in the knowledge and conservation of the migration of the Monarch butterfly:
2014 The website www.soymonarca.mx opens to inform the public about how to know and participate in the conservation of the migration of the Monarch butterfly.
2014 The president of the United States proposes the establishment of the Pollinator Health Task Force coordinated by the Secretary Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States in order to develop a national strategy for the health of pollinators, in which the Monarch butterfly is explicitly included (June 20th).
2014 Meeting of the High-Level Working Group on the Monarch Butterfly in the XIX Annual Meeting of the Canada-Mexico-USA Trilateral Committee for Conservation and Management of Wildlife and Ecosystems in Querétaro, Mexico (May 28th).
2014 The High Level Working Group for the Conservation of the Monarch butterfly Migratory Phenomenon in Mexico (GANMM, by its Spanish acronym) is installed with the aim of protecting and preserving the hibernation habitat of the Monarch butterfly in the sanctuaries of Estado de México and Michoacan and their migratory route towards the United States and Canada. The GANMM is constituted by governmental institutes: the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT, by its Spanish acronym), Subsecretary of the Environment and Natural Resources, Subsecretary of Management for Environmental Protection, Head of the Coordinating Unit of International Affairs, Head of the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR, by its Spanish acronym), Head of the Commission of Protected Natural Areas (CONANP, by its Spanish acronym), Head of the Commission of the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO, by its Spanish acronym), Head of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (PROFEPA, by its Spanish acronym) and a scientific committee consisting of Víctor Sánchez Cordero (IB UNAM), Carlos Galindo Leal (CONABIO), Gloria Tavera Alonso (CONANP) and organizations of civil society: Grupo de los 100, World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Mexico), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC).
2014 Commitment of the presidents of Mexico (Enrique Peña Nieto), United States (Barack Obama) and the Prime Minister of Canada (Stephen Harper) in the 2014 North American Leader´s Summit in Toluca, Estado de México, for the creation of a High Level Trinational Task Force to protect and conserve the migratory phenomena of the Monarch butterfly (February 19th) that symbolizes the union of the three nations. The Task Force comprises Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Department of the Interior of the United States, Leona Aglukkaq, Canadian Ministry of the environment and Juan José Guerra Abud, Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico who, in turn, agreed to integrate in each one of their countries another High Level Task Force with representation of the government, academia and civil society.
2013 The citizen science project "The Monarch butterfly in Mexico" starts on the Naturalist platform.
2013 International Research Symposium on the Monarch butterfly in Morelia, Michoacan (October 3rd to 5th) in the Centro de Información, Arte y Cultura of the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo (UMSNH).
2012 Publication of the Environmental Log of the Monarch butterfly region.
2011 Publication of the Forestry Phytosanitary Diagnostic of the Monarch butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Estado de México.
2010 Publication of Plan of Management Type for the Monarch butterfly of the Subsecretary of Management for Environmental Protection, General Direction of Wildlife, SEMARNAT.
2010 Initiative of sister Protected Natural Areas (migratory route network in Mexico).
2009 Workshop for Monitoring the Monarch butterfly in Mexico in Áporo, Michoacan, organized by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) and the National Commission for Protected Natural Areas. Participating in this workshop were the Laguna Madre y Delta del Río Bravo FFPA, Sierra La Mojonera FFPA, Izta-Popo NP, Valle de Bravo APRN, Cuatrociénegas FFPA, Cumbres de Monterrey NP, Nevado de Toluca NP, Monarch butterfly BR, El Potosí NP, Gogorrón NP, Sierra de Álvarez FFPA and Bosencheve NP, Alternare A.C., Journey North, Correo Real, WWF-México, Fondo Monarca, Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary Foundation (MBSF), Chipinque Ecological Park ABP, Grupo Atlautla Popocatepetl and representatives of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). (See Montesinos-Patiño, E., F. Jaramillo and E Rendón (CEC workshop report 2009).
2008 V Monarch butterfly Regional Forum. Priority themes were defined as: prevention, control and mitigation of threats in the migratory route; establishment of innovative approaches and instruments; research, monitoring and evaluation, and the education, dissemination and development of capacities.
2008 The Program of Ecological Regulation of the Monarch butterfly Region in the Territory of the State of Michoacan was published in the Gaceta del Gobierno.
2008 Designation of the Monarch butterfly biosphere reserve as a World Heritage Site (UNESCO).
2007 The Program of Ecological Regulation of the Monarch butterfly Region (POERMM by its Spanish acronym) is published. This includes the model of environmental regulation and its applicable ecological strategies.
2007 Trinational workshop of experts for the formulation of the North American Plan for Conservation of the Monarch butterfly, Morelia, Michoacan from December 5th to 7th, supported by the Commission of Environmental Cooperation (CEC).
2006 Trilateral Workshop of sister protected areas for the Monarch butterfly in Morelia, Michoacan from March 27th to 30th. The creation of a network of natural protected areas is launched in order to coordinate conservation efforts.
2006 Memoirs of the III Monarch butterfly Regional Forum (May 22nd to 23rd) Temascalcingo, Estado de México.
2005 Memoirs of the II Foro Regional mariposa Monarca (April 15th to 16th), Casa de Gobierno, Morelia, Michoacan.
2005 Travesía de Papalotzin, ultraligero de Francisco "Vico" Gutierrez desde Canadá hasta México, patrocinado por el Estado de Michoacan y por la Alianza WWF-Telcel.
2004 Memorias del I Foro Regional mariposa Monarca.
2004 Installation of the Regional Committee of Territorial Ecological Regulation for the Monarch butterfly Region in Valle de Bravo, Estado de México (March 23rd).
2003 Creation of the Monarch Butterfly Regional Forum.
2001 Publication of the Management Program of the Monarch butterfly Biosphere Reserve (January).
2000 Creation of the Monarch butterfly Conservation Fund. The David and Lucile Packard foundation, the Secretary of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries, Estado de México and Michoacan combined financial resources to create the Monarch butterfly Conservation Fund (FCMM, by its Spanish acronym). The fund generates interest, which is used to pay landowners of the core zone of the Reserve to forego their rights of forestry use and to provide conservation services.
2000 Creation of the Reserva de la Biosfera Mariposa Monarca (56,259 ha). The Reserve includes 3 core zones: Altamirano (588 ha), Chincua-Campanario-Chivati (9,233 ha), Cerro Pelón (3,729 ha) and three buffer zones: Altamirano (1,770 ha), Chincua-Campanario-Chivati (54,488 ha). Diario Oficial de la Federación.
1997 North American Conference on the Monarch butterfly organized in Morelia, Michoacan by the Commission for Environmental (CEC), where information was exchanged among scientists, representatives of social groups and non-governmental organizations and alternatives for the conservation of the migratory phenomena were analyzed.
1996 Creation of the Monarch butterfly Protected Natural Area.
1992 Proposal for the zonification and classification of the forestry areas and area of influence of the Monarch butterfly special reserve. SARH.
1986 Creation of the Monarch butterfly Special Biosphere Reserve (16,110 ha). Diario Oficial de la Federación. SEDUE. October 9th.
1980 Creation of the Wildlife Reserve and Refuge Zones. May 25th.
1976 National Geographic article by Fred Urquhart about the discovery of the hibernation sites, without revealing their exact location.
1975 Discovery of the hibernation areas by Ken Brugger and Catalina Aguado, volunteers who traveled the mountains of Michoacan by motorcycle.
1957 The Mexican botanist Jerzy Rzedowski publishes a note about the migration of the Monarch butterfly on observing them in Ciudad del Maize in San Luis Potosí. (Acta Zoológica Mexicana 2(2):1-4.
1937 The Canadian entomologist Fred Urquhart (1911-2002) develops small labels to tag the Monarch butterflies and study their migration.
1907 The North American naturalist Jennie Brooks of Kansas proposed that Monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico.
1800s Several naturalists report flights of butterflies moving together.