NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
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Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve; Llano de Villalobos
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Latitude and Longitude 19.6699, -100.2809 Map

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Habitat: Cloudforest. Equipment Notes: Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo; Sennheiser MKH40 Cardioid Mid Mic and MKH30 Bidirectional Side Mic through Sonosax Preamp into Sony TCD7. MONARCH BUTTERFLIES LOG - DAT 3 MS set up with D7 - MKH-40 as the mid, MKH-30 as a figure 8 going into sonnesex ?) pre-amps into D7 morning of 1/16 at butterfly reserve - recording ambi AMBI: 1:40 wind blowing through trees w/some fidgeting by Leo VG 2:43-3:30 van drives by 3:31 ambi of area - wind, some faint birds NG 4:21-5:01 (our) van drive by 5:19-5:50 more ambi of area - wind through trees at ¿head of trail¿ to monarch site [LB = Lincoln Brower] 7:19 LB - my name is Lincoln Brower. I am professor of zoology from the University of Florida, now at Sweet Briar college. We have gotten all of our gear together and we are up here in the Ellanas de la Villa Lobos which is a staging area just below the ridge of mtns where the monarchs form their colonies. And it is about a mile walk from here to the butterflies. (some music in bg at top of this cut.) We used to be able to drive up when this was a research area only to the top of the ridge and it was much easier to do the research, but now with all the tourist facilities here we have a very long walk ahead of us. So it will take us about prob 45 mins to get to the butterflies or maybe a little bit more now - it used to take us about 15 mins. JB - so we better get started 8:08 LB - we better get started - we better get going - but we are really luck today bc it is absolutely crystal clear and as things warm up which they will do - we saw ice coming in a long the sides of the road - those little ice crystals of frost are what kill the butterflies if the are exposed to the night sky. Dew forms and then it freezes and ice crystals literally explode the cells of the butterflies - and so that is really lethal to them. And you will see these extremes on a very clear day. You will see ice coming in w/in 2 or 3 hours the butterflies will have warmed up enough to fly around. So this is going to be an exciting day for sure. 8:51 9:07-9:50 ambi in area of above interview BEGINNING THE WALK TO SITE: 10:20 LB - the weather is absolutely crystal clear as we predicted from the satellite photograph in the newspaper yesterday, but one of the things I am really interested in is the clouds forming over my head. If we were down lower we would see no clouds at all , but the masses of air have water vapor in them - in the vapor phase - and as that mass of air is blown over the 11,000 foot massif here it turns to clouds and if there was more moisture down bellow we would see more clouds up here which would gradually merge in into fog (horse neigh) and there is a question as to whether these little mtn islands where the butterflies occur is sufficient to supply the trees with water (another neigh) and there is a recent discovery in california..that fog is extremely important as it goes through the needles of the trees. This was recently discovered in the redwood forest¿..11:29 and what happens is as the fog rolls through the forest it actually condenses - fog is little particles of water it is not in the vapor phase¿.MORE ABOUT THIS ¿¿fog drip. And I have been up here in a foggy day in an open area like this llanos like we are standing in now and there is just fog rolling through - it is like you are driving through fog, walking through fog - and outside the forest in a clearing it was just very very foggy rolling through and then we walked 50 feet into the forest and water was condensing and it was actually raining - and so I think this fog drip is very important. And we need to establish that bc there are important arguments as to why the trees should be thinned by those who are trying to rationalize a certain amount of economic activity up here. And in the butterfly areas, in m... (Notes truncated)

Background Species

Monarch - Anosia plexippus

Technical Information

Sennheiser MKH 30; Sennheiser MKH 40

Archival Information

6 Nov 2008 by Ben Brotman
6 Nov 2008 by Ben Brotman
6 Nov 2008 by Ben Brotman