Team Planet Earth

Time to clear up those Monday blues with some more conservation good news stories from across the web.

First stop on the Dodo Express is Mexico.

Fireflies help stave off deforestation

The Guardian reports that in the village of Nanacamilipa, tiny fireflies are helping save the towering pine and fir trees on the outskirts of Mexico City.

Camp spaces in Piedra Canteada park sold out weeks in advance to see thousands of fireflies light up the night. Photograph: Rebecca Blackwell/AP

For years, economic forces, including low prices for farm produce, forced rural communities like Piedra Canteada to cut down trees and sell the logs. Then, in 1990, community leader Genaro Rueda Lopez got the idea that the forest could bring tourism revenue from campers.

With business slow for years, the community members realized the millions of fireflies that appear between June and August could draw tourists from larger cities where few people have seen them in significant numbers.

The cooperative of 42 families still cuts some trees, but has preserved over 1,560 acres (630 hectares).

“We log, we live from the forest, from cutting trees, but in an orderly way,” said Rueda Lopez, one of the cooperative’s founders. “It’s like a garden, you have to remove the branches yourself, the dry parts, the parts with diseases to really grow.”

He said they have plans to plant over 50,000 pine trees in the areas they log each year.


85% decline in UK plastic bag use after implementation of 5 pence charge.

Many news outlets are reporting a dramatic fall in the use of plastic bags in the United Kingdom, owing to the implementation of a 5 pence tax on their use in shops.


This is great news for the environment, especially the world’s oceans which are suffering their greatest threat from plastic pollution, mainly from single-use plastic items that make their way into the waterways, and inevitably the sea.

The Daily Telegraph writes: Ministers have hailed the “fantastic” success of the policy which is set to vastly reduce the amount of plastic dumped in the ocean and raise millions for charity through the 5p charges.Thérèse Coffey, the environment minister, said: “Taking six billion plastic bags out of circulation is fantastic news for all of us – it will mean our precious marine life is safer, our communities are cleaner and future generations won’t be saddled with mountains of plastic sat taking hundreds of years to breakdown in landfill sites.

They also run a poll to tax takeaway coffee cups, a move which the Dodo Express fully supports.

It would be great to see more countries follow suit, so why not try to spread awareness and lobby your politicians to try and force change.


And finally, back to Mexico and the Guardian for this great news story…

Monarch butterflies on the rise after years of decline


Scientists are not sure how monarch butterflies find their way back to same patch in Mexico each year.
Scientists are not sure how monarch butterflies find their way back to same patch in Mexico each year. Photograph: Edgard Garrido/Reuters


The area covered by the orange-and-black insects in the mountains west of Mexico City this season was more than three and a half times greater than last winter. The butterflies clump so densely in the pine and fir forests they are counted by the area they cover rather than by individuals.

While the news was good, the monarchs still face problems: the butterflies covered as much as 44 acres (18 hectares) 20 years ago.

he United States is working to reintroduce milkweed, a plant key to the butterflies’ migration, on about 1,160 square miles (3m hectares) within five years, both by planting and by designating pesticide-free areas.

Read the full story here.



7 thoughts on “Team Planet Earth

  1. Love, love those dancing little buggers at summer’s eve and through the Fall. And those butterflies, all butterflies -love, love to see them doing their little flighty mombo in the skies too…

    I have reblogged this on my Facebook page and will reblog at my madasahatter572. .


  2. Reblogged this on madasahatter572 and commented:
    ‘Cause I know that I’m not the only one who loves to watch those Summer delightful dancers of the night too.. And the butterflies, those adorable jazzy-day hippsters… Take a read of this article and others and see, share what You and your family, friends can do to help out Mother Nature and all her babies too.


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