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Jean Lauriault

Return journey

Around mid-March, the monarchs begin leaving Mexico. During the migration back north, they will mate, then die. One to three generations later, the butterflies finally reach their destinations in Eastern North America.

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Jean Lauriault

A passion for nature and the monarch butterfly

LauriaultJean Lauriault has a passion for all things concerning the environment. This biologist, who worked with the Canadian Museum of Nature for over 30 years, considers himself above all a popularizer and a communicator. Since the early 1990s, he’s been especially interested in protecting the monarch butterfly and in the spectacular phenomenon of their migration, which still raises many questions among scientists.

When autumn arrives, monarch butterflies from Eastern Canada begin a journey of over 4,000 km to the mountains of Michoacan state, northwest of Mexico City. For several years now, Jean Lauriault has also headed to Mexico to find the monarch at its overwintering site and gain a better understanding of this mysterious butterfly.

Protecting the monarch butterfly

In order to protect the overwintering sites, the Mexican government in 1986 created the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, which today covers 560 square kilometres. Butterflies converge here by the millions. In Mexico, as elsewhere, wood is a highly sought-after resource. Deforestation has catastrophic consequences for the butterflies, which find the ideal conditions for their survival in the oyamel forests.

Since he’s been travelling to Mexico, Jean Lauriault has noted the difficulty of reconciling habitat conservation with the needs of local people living in poverty. In the village of Angangeo, the Alternare organization has set up training programs to help locals better use the natural resources already available, thereby avoiding the destruction of the habitat crucial to the monarch butterfly’s survival.

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Par Frances Mawson, 2015-04-09, 06h26

Chere M Lauriault, I'm writing on behalf of the Madawaska Valley Horticultural Society. We were wondering if you would have time to talk to our membership about the monarch butterflies and their migrationt. I'm actually asking for a date in 2016. We meet on the third Thursday of the month at the Seniors' Centre, Barry's Bay at 7:30 and our speaker usually talks from about 8:00 pm for roughly an hour - with questions if appropriate. All months except Jan, July, Nov and Dec 2016 are free at the moment and we usually pay about $75 but realise that you may require more than this plus mileage. We can also provide a bed for the night, free of charge, if that is required. If you cannot come to talk to us, could you, perhaps, someone else who might be able to speak on the subject. You can reach me on this email or at 613-756-8078. Thank you very much for considering this. We're a very friendly bunch. Unfortunately, we can not transfer your message to M. Lauriault, because we don't have his email. Try a search on the web. Humanima Team

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