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U.S., Mexico and Canada To Protect
Threatened Monarch Butterflies and Porpoises

Associated Press  June 28, 2007

The U.S., Mexico and Canada agreed to work together to protect the monarch butterfly, threatened in Mexico by illegal logging destroying its winter nesting grounds.

Meeting in the central Mexican state of Michoacan, where millions of butterflies spend the winter months, the three-nation Commission for Environmental Cooperation, or CEC, formally pledged Wednesday to support conservation initiatives for the monarch, according to a commission statement.

The statement did not offer details on the initiatives.

The monarch butterfly is not listed as endangered, but scientists say deforestation could threaten its existence.

The monarchs' annual 3,400-mile journey from the forests of eastern Canada and parts of the United States to the central Mexican mountains is considered an aesthetic and scientific wonder.

The nations also agreed to joint efforts to aid the vaquita marina, a gray porpoise native to the Gulf of California. They are sometimes caught in fishing nets and their habitat is damaged by shrimp boats that trawl the sea floor.

Only 500 of the porpoises are thought to exist, environmentalists say.

The CEC -- a panel set up by Mexico, the United States and Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement -- also said it has launched a Google Earth mapping tool that lets users explore pollution data from more than 30,000 industrial facilities in the three countries.


On the Net:

Commission for Environmental Cooperation: http://www.cec.org

Source: Associated Press

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