Ernest H. Williams

Mexico’s logging threatens butterflies,” co-authored by William R. Kenan Professor of Biology Emeritus Ernest Williams, was published as the lead letter in the Nov. 24th issue of the journal Science. Williams’ co-authors include researchers from Spain and Australia who focus on salvage logging and researchers from Mexico and the U.S. who focus on monarchs.

The letter points out threats to the monarch butterfly’s overwintering forests in central Mexico due to salvage logging resulting from a 2016 wind storm that knocked down thousands of trees.

Williams and his co-authors “urge Mexican authorities to immediately halt logging inside the core zone of the reserve.” They also ask for the release of information about the trees removed from the area, and request that Mexico fund a study by independent scientists of post-storm and post-logging damage to the monarch habitat.

These, as well as other things detailed in the letter, “are key priorities for the continued existence of the migration of the monarchs,” the authors said.

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