The discovery of the overwintering place of the graceful monarch butterfly had taken several decades of searching by thousands of volunteers.
On 9 January 2016 Google has commemorated this fact, with the above doodle created by artist Kevin Laughlin, on their search engine's home page in various regions of the world.
Ken Brugger and Catalina Trail's determination helped the team find the answers they had been looking for. The butterflies attach themselves to oyamel trees in the Sierra Madre Mountains, in eastern Mexico.
The monarch butterfly is under threat due to climate change and deforestation in the country, where the species migrates to from the the US and Canada in winter.
REF: Daily Telegraph
Founder of the Monarch Butterfly Roosting Sites in Mexico
Lives a Quiet Life in Austin, Texas
Posted on July 10, 2012 by Monika Maeckle
I am the only living member of the team who discovered the Monarch Butterfly overwintering sanctuaries in Mexico in 1975. The discovery was published by National Geographic Magazine in August, 1976. My picture is on the cover. I was referred to as Cathy back then…I have been here in Austin living a quiet life and I am interested in participating in your Austin Butterfly Forum.
–Best regards, Catalina
“Cathy Aguado,” as she was known in 1975 when she and her partner Ken Brugger worked as “research associates” for Dr. Fred Urquhart, remained at her South Austin home. Trail now performs social work as a case manager for an Austin nonprofit organization, helping people face some of life’s toughest challenges. In her limited spare time, she tends her vegetable garden."
REF: Texas Butterfly Ranch
Found at Last - The Monarch's Winter Home
By Fred A. Urquhart, Ph.D.This article was originally published in the August 1976 National Geographic.
"I gazed in amazement at the sight. Butterflies—millions upon millions of monarch butterflies! They clung in tighty packed masses to every branch and trunk of the tall, gray-green oyameltrees. They swirled through the air like autumn leaves and carpeted the ground in their flaming myriads on this Mexican mountainside.
Breathless from the altitude, my legs trembling from the climb, I muttered aloud, “Unbelievable! What a glorious, incredible sight!”
I had waited decades for this moment. We had come at last to the long-sought overwintering place of the eastern population of the monarch butterfly."