Jaime Rojo Spain

A carpet of Monarch Butterflies covers the forest floor of El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary after a snow storm that hit the state of Michoacán in Mexico on March 2015.  On March 8th and 9th of 2016 a strong snow storm hit the mountains of Central Mexico creating havoc in the wintering colonies of Monarch Butterflies just when they were starting their migration back to U.S.A. and Canada. Monarch butterflies are surprisingly resilient and they can survive several days in below zero temperatures as long as they remain dry. Deforestation reduces the shelter for the butterflies making them more vulnerable to the weather elements. And although illegal logging has been curbed thanks to the conservation efforts in Mexico, climate change is creating an increase of these unusual weather events which represent one of the biggest challenges for these insects during their hibernation period.

Born in Spain, and now based in Mexico, photographer Jaime Rojo believes the camera is a powerful tool in conservation efforts. Combining his training in environmental sciences and understanding of visual impact, he creates elaborate projects that he hopes will draw attention to crises in the natural world, such as the decline in free-flowing rivers and the disruption of Monarch butterfly migration patterns. As part of WeTransfer’s partnership with the World Press Photo awards, Jaime gave us the story behind a chilling photo he took of thousands of endangered Monarch butterflies lying in the snow at the El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary in Mexico.