維護專案的內容，不僅著重帝王斑蝶棲息地的保護，並且和當地的經濟成長相結合。生物學家菲立普‧馬丁茲Felipe Martinez)表示，無論是在生態學或經濟上，這塊帝王斑蝶保育區都相當重要，他說：「從生物學觀點來看，這裡被提名為世界遺產是個獨特的過程，而這也引來了國際關注，進而帶動該地區更多的觀光收入。」(shows 8)
※ The original article was taken from Reuters Website. ( 原文取自路透社網站 )
INTRO: Monarch butterfly reserves open in Mexico. Butterfly sanctuaries open in all their splendor in Mexico.
STORY: The butterfly sanctuaries, where thousands of monarch butterflies migrate every year, were opened on Friday (November 28), in the central Mexican state of Michoacán. Tourists, scientists and local residents eagerly await the annual event.
"It's the most anticipated day by the people who live in the reserve. It's also the most anticipated by a great national and international (scientific) community that runs research projects and many (science) activities linked with the monarch butterfly migration phenomena, " said the reserve's director Concepción Miguel Martinez to Reuters. (shows 4)
Beginning in October, millions of Monarch butterflies flee the cold winters of Canada and northern United States and travel thousands of miles to hibernate and reproduce in the temperate woods of central Mexico.
Hundreds of trees crowded with butterflies can be seen along the reserve. But illegal logging has damaged the sanctuaries in recent years, endangering the Monarchs and triggering the government and scientific community to initiate special projects to protect the reserve.
Martinez stressed the importance of the efforts. "The risks to the monarch butterfly are not only the long-term ones such as climate change and illegal logging, the greatest risks are those related with the breakdown and damage of these habitats where monarch butterflies feed and reproduce, " he said. (shows 6)
Conservation efforts have included local residents, spurring economic growth in the area. Biologist Felipe Martinez said the forests are important both scientifically and economically. "From a biological point of view, it's a unique process in the world that has being nominated as a world heritage site and this caused additional international attention to this area which has brought the region more tourism earnings," said Martinez. (shows 8)
In recent years, climate change has affected Monarchs too. Frost, wind and rains have killed many of them as they migrate. Changes in the weather have also affected the reproduction periods of the butterflies in their Mexican hibernation habitats.
The Mexican government has protected 660 thousand hectares of land as part of the Monarchs' reserve and expects to increase it to 3 million hectares in coming years. Authorities want to preserve not only the forest of Central Mexico where the butterflies hibernate, but other points along the Monarchs' migration path across Mexico and the areas surrounding the sanctuaries.