Monarchs in the Snow
Nature, third prize singles
March 12, 2016
A carpet of monarch butterflies covers the forest floor of El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary in Michoacán, Mexico, after a snowstorm. The severe storm hit the mountains of Central Mexico on 8 and 9 March, just as wintering colonies of the butterflies were starting their migration back to the USA—a journey of more than 4,500 kilometers.
The butterflies are surprisingly resilient and can survive several days in sub-zero temperatures as long as they remain dry, but it was unclear how badly the snowstorm affected the colonies. After a general decline in monarch populations, with numbers dipping by 90 percent since the 1990s, there had been a recent increase, and the winter had been seen as a possible turning point for the species.
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About the photographer
Jaime Rojo is a Spanish photographer based in Mexico City that combines his passion for wild nature, his storytelling skills and a background in conservation biology to create conservation campaigns that engage the public in the environmental issues.
He frequently collaborates as a photographer, filmmaker and communications advisor with some of the most important environmental and educational organizations of Mexico, United States, Canada and Spain.
He is a Senior Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers and a trustee of The WILD Foundation.
Winning images by location
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