WPY 2017

Photograph Details

Finalist 2017

Animals in their Environment

Jaime Rojo, Spain

A magnificence of monarchs

Jaime had witnessed the spectacular gathering of monarch butterflies before, but this time he had a permit to remain until dusk. ‘I had to run uphill chasing the last light, all the trees around me trembling with butterflies,’ says Jaime. The finishing touch came as one butterfly opened its orange wings, the rest of the colony filling the frame.

Every autumn, millions of monarch butterflies migrate nearly 5,000 kilometres from their breeding grounds to overwinter in Mexico. The sacred fir forests drip with insects gathering together for protection. But this remarkable event is threatened by the use of herbicides across North America, illegal logging and an increased frequency of winter storms.

Technical specification

Nikon D4; 70–300mm f4.5–5.6 lens at 155mm; 1/8 sec at f11; ISO 1250; Gitzo tripod.


El Rosario, Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Michoacán, Mexico: latitude 20.128824, longitude -101.74649 El Rosario, Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Michoacán, Mexico: latitude 20.128824, longitude -101.74649

El Rosario, Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Michoacán, Mexico

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Jaime Rojo

Jaime Rojo, Spain

Jaime is a Spanish-born photographer based in Mexico City. He frequently collaborates as a photographer, filmmaker and communications advisor with environmental organisations, educational institutions and government agencies in Mexico, the United States, Canada and Spain. He is a Senior Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers and a trustee of the WILD Foundation.