The number of monarch butterflies that winter in Mexico’s central mountains decreased by 22% compared to the previous year, and the number of lost trees tripled. Humberto Peña, director of Mexico’s nature reserves, said that frost and extreme temperatures in the United States may have played a role in the decline, which reduced the total area covered by the monarchs to 5.4 acres. Experts attribute the loss of trees to illegal logging and removal of dead, sick or stressed trees due to fires, storms, pests, and a lack of rain. Experts claim that climate change has affected the species’ migration. Illegal logging still plagues the butterfly reserve; however, open illegal tree cutting dropped 3.4% this year due to efforts to protect their forests.

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