World

Experts say deforestation in Mexico down, rebound expected for monarch butterflies

A newly tagged Monarch butterfly enjoys its first taste of wildflowers at the Conservation Park on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, in Panama City Beach, Fla. Monarchs were tagged and released from the park Saturday to track their movements as they migrate south. (AP Photo/The News Herald, Heather Leiphart)

A newly tagged Monarch butterfly enjoys its first taste of wildflowers at the Conservation Park on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, in Panama City Beach, Fla. Monarchs were tagged and released from the park Saturday to track their movements as they migrate south. (AP Photo/The News Herald, Heather Leiphart)  (The Associated Press)

Experts in Mexico say deforestation is down in the forest that is the winter home of monarch butterflies and they hope to see a rebound in the annual migration after it fell to historic lows.

Omar Vidal of Mexico's World Wildlife Fund says two to three times more monarchs may arrive this year, as compared to last year.

Millions of the black and orange butterflies return to a reserve area each year. Farmers who own the land have been known to cut trees for personal use. But Vidal said Wednesday there are no signs of such logging this year.

Commercial logging, however, remains a threat in the area.

Last year, the monarchs covered only about one-and-a-half acres (half a hectare), an area nearly 60 percent smaller than the previous year.