MEXICO CITY – Mexico's celebrated winter visitor, the Monarch butterfly, has a new conservation center aimed at boosting its dwindling numbers.
The black and orange insect has been hit hard by deforestation around its winter nesting grounds in Michoacan state.
Environmentalists say that last winter, only about one-fourth as many butterflies migrated to Mexico from the U.S. and Canada as in the previous year.
President Felipe Calderon said Wednesday that logging is a major threat to the butterflies, which are a big tourist draw and a boon for the local economy.
He spoke at a ceremony inaugurating the center in Angangueo, which will provide visitors with information and seek to raise awareness about destruction of the Monarchs' habitat.