2017 Photos

Monarchs in the Snow

Monarchs in the Snow - Jaime Rojo

Jaime Rojo (Spain)

Nature, third prize singles


A carpet of monarch butterflies covers the forest floor of El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary in Michoacán, Mexico, after a snowstorm. The severe storm hit the mountains of Central Mexico on 8 and 9 March, just as wintering colonies of the butterflies were starting their migration back to the USA—a journey of more than 4,500 kilometers.

The butterflies are surprisingly resilient and can survive several days in sub-zero temperatures as long as they remain dry, but it was unclear how badly the snowstorm affected the colonies. After a general decline in monarch populations, with numbers dipping by 90 percent since the 1990s, there had been a recent increase, and the winter had been seen as a possible turning point for the species.

Photographer's view

Partner events:



About the Event:

Photographer Jaime Rojo will speak at the World Press Photo Exhibition, discussing how his photograph of Monarch butterflies in the snow is a representation of the effects of climate change, the role of these magnificent insects and the impact of the strong snow storms that hit the El Rosario butterfly sanctuary in 2016.

About the host:

The Lightscape Foundation is dedicated to expanding interest in, knowledge of, and engagement with global current events through photojournalism. Lightscape is the driving force behind the return of the World Press Photo exhibition to Washington D.C. and is pioneering partnerships with local think-tanks, universities, embassies and civil society groups that can tell the stories behind this year's prize winning photographs.


Monday, 13 November


6 PM to 7 PM


World Press Photo Exhibition 2017
Dupont Underground
19 Dupont Cir NW
Washington, DC

Copyright © 2022 Lightscape Foundation. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.