Letter From Estela Romero: Leaving Soon?


Published: 03/03/2021

Dear friends,  

The end of the overwintering season is imminent. Increasing temperatures over the weekend could accelerate monarchs’ departure. 

SIERRA CHINCUA: More visitors come to this sanctuary due to its facilities and pristine surroundings. 

The colony continues to be located at the El Tepozán site. As mentioned last week, this site is lower in altitude and points north. The colony is diminishing in size as days go by. 

According to one of the guides, “We could be surprised at any moment. The colony may increase back to an abundant size, or perhaps form a new colony nearby. There is so much activity at El Rosario that once more monarchs start to leave, they could stop here for a few days before continuing their journey.

This week’s images offer the best view of monarch activity so far this season. Let’s wait and see how Sierra Chincua behaves in the coming days. Changing weather conditions will signal an early or late departure.

EL ROSARIO: In only a few days, the colony in El Rosario transformed. Part of the colony moved much lower and deeper into the El Tigre-Carrillos canyon toward the southeastern part of Angangueo. The colony is now inside Ejido Angangueo and near the La Salud community areas. It’s not possible to access this area since this community does not have official permission to allow tourists. 

Meanwhile, the remaining part of the colony has mostly spread around. Seeing them at the small meadow just by the Las Balsitas site is a sublime spectacle.  They take up all the space in the air and cover the ground. When the sun shines brightest, an orange mass takes off and lands back down as if there is an invisible signal to which they all react at once.

Whether it’s the large and dense clusters in the oyamel trees or the beginning of massive dispersions each spring, the monarchs’ overwintering phenomenon is awe-inspring every single year.

The ongoing pandemic that spans the globe will hopefully be resolved soon. May the world then turn its attention to another event with global consequences: the systematic devastation of nature. No scientific breakthrough or technology can restore what has been lost due to humans.

Estela Romero

Angangueo, Michoacán, México.


Note to our readers: This article has been edited from the original English version for clarity and readability.

Read the Spanish version of Estela Romero’s letter»


El Rosario Sanctuary