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Monarch Projects

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is allocating an additional $2 million of funding for monarch conservation to build upon the agency’s already robust commitment this year to work with others to restore and enhance more than 200,000 acres of habitat for monarchs while also supporting over 750 schoolyard habitats and pollinator gardens.

This investment funds strategic habitat restoration and enhancement projects, native seed strategies, and education and outreach programs in the priority geographic areas for the eastern population’s central flyway with a focus on their first-generation spring breeding habitat primarily in Texas and Oklahoma and summer breeding areas in the high monarch production areas of America’s “Corn Belt.” It also includes support for developing a range-wide, geospatial approach for conserving the western monarch population while also restoring and enhancing important habitat.

The final piece is a series of projects to catalyze action throughout the range while also engaging communities, schools, and citizens, focusing efforts around a vision for Interstate-35 as the centerpiece of a greater landscape partnership for monarchs and pollinators. This includes piloting a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) for monarch conservation.

The project spans the monarch’s range while focusing in high priority areas:

Central Flyway – Conservation of spring breeding and migration habitats in Texas and Oklahoma is critical for the first generation offspring from the Mexican overwintering population as they breed and then migrate to recolonize the summer breeding grounds of the Midwest.  Native seed availability is a limiting factor for Texas and Oklahoma.  The Service will work with many partners to form a grand Texas Native Pollinator Initiative. The initiative’s goal would be to obtain the partners needed to identify priority habitats, conduct habitat restoration at every scale, collect and distribute native milkweed seed, engage in inventory and monitoring of monarchs, and provide educational opportunities and materials.

PROJECTS

Funding

Description

Region

Texas Native Pollinator Initiative

$200,000

Many partners, including TX Parks and Wildlife. Supports coordinator, planning, and projects.

R2

 

Habitat Projects in Texas and Oklahoma

PROJECTS

Funding

Description

Region

Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW)

$80,000 Partners: Private landowners, NRCS, TPWD, NWTF, TNC, Native Plant Society, etc. on 1,000-3,000 grassland acres. R2
South Texas Monarch Habitat Improvement $30,000 Partners: NRCS, private landowners. Enhance 1,000 acres. R2
Grassland Restoration & Enhancement Program (GRIP) $50,000 Working with the Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture, restore up to 10,000 acres annually. R2

 

Seed Projects in Texas and Oklahoma

PROJECTS

Funding

Region

Stimulate commercial production of bulk quantities of native milkweeds to support Monarch health, working with Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

$50,000

R2

Seed source development of milkweed species for use in Texas, working with NRCS, Plant Materials Center, and other partners.

$35,000

R2

Seed source development of other native pollinator plants for use in Texas, working with NRCS, Plant Materials Center, and other partners.

$40,000

R2

Seed source development of milkweed species for use in Oklahoma.

$25,000

R2

 

America’s Corn Belt – Research indicates that the “corn belt” region of the upper Midwest is the major source of monarchs overwintering in Mexico. An opportunity exists to re-engage past Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program participants on private land to enhance existing habitats for monarchs. The Service will develop conservation strategies for habitat enhancement with these landowners. These projects will complement the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) Farm Bill financial and technical assistance programs and strategies for monarch and pollinator conservation.

PROJECTS

Funding

Description

Region

Private Lands & Monarchs, Partners for Fish and Wildlife

$632,500

Many partners, NRCS, FSA. Work with private landowners to restore and enhance 3,000-5,000 acres.

R3-$500,000

R6-$132,500

 

Other Projects – The vast range of the Monarch butterfly demands action across the continent, which presents a unique opportunity to engage communities, particularly in America’s cities, on the endeavor to save the monarch. The models used in these projects can be replicated across the country in terms of how the Service works with nonprofits, corporations, states, and other partners.

PROJECTS

Funding

Description

Region

Milkweed for Monarchs: St. Louis Butterfly Project

$40,000

Partners work together to reach 5,000-10,000 citizens and students and create urban monarch habitats.

R3

Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail Expansion

$130,000

Namesake trail of First Lady Rosalynn Carter unifies sites connected in the monarch's range. Many partners.

R4

Monarch Habitat on Corporate Lands

$50,000

Working with the Wildlife Habitat Council to engage 60 companies in the Southeast.

R4

Monarch Habitat Creation through States

$100,000

Provide funding to Northeast state fish and wildlife agencies for milkweed planting on habitat managed for game species.

R5

Monarch Joint Venture

$84,000

Doubles capacity of central partnership hub for monarch conservation work. Also supports new tools, training.

HQ

 

Western Monarch Population – One of the primary obstacles to strategic conservation of the western population of monarchs is lack of information. To overcome this barrier, the Service will work with partners to identify conservation planning, design, and science needs and gaps for the western population’s migratory pathways and breeding locations, while also investing in important habitat and seed projects.

PROJECTS

Funding

Description

Region

Western Monarch Habitat Suitability Assessment & Modeling Project

$52,000

Leverage work of the Xerces Society, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs), and others to develop science and decision support tools needed.

R1, R8, R2

 

Habitat Projects for the Western Population

PROJECTS

Funding

Description

Region

Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) Willamette Valley Focus Area (Oregon)

$18,500

Leverages $85,000 of external funding to create 78 acres and enhance 25 acres of habitat working with public and private partners.

R1

PFW Northeast Washington Landscape Scale Monarch Habitat Conservation (Washington)

$15,000

Leverages $15,000 of external funding to enhance over 500 acres, working with Ducks Unlimited and Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.

R1

Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge (California)

$30,000

Work with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to enhance 40 acres and set up a number of nurseries.

R8

Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (California)

$35,000

Work with the Sacramento Tree Foundation, local schools and youth groups on new pollinator gardens totaling 70 acres.

R8

PFW River Fork Ranch (Nevada)

$3,000

Results in six acres of habitat enhancement, monitoring, and environmental education on TNC preserve.

R8

 

Seed Projects for the Western Population

PROJECTS

Funding

Region

Eastern Washington, Eastern Oregon, and Idaho Seed Germination and Rearing Project. Provide 20,000 seedlings working with U.S. Forest Service.

$22,000

R1

Monarch Flight Connections in Oregon and Idaho. Provide 25,000 seedlings.

$52,000

R1

PFW Mojave Milkweed Seed Collection & Propagation. Work with NV Dept. of Forestry to collect and propagate seed needed for 10 acres of habitat.

$6,000

R8

 

Engaging Youth and Communities –The Service’s monarch conservation initiative provides a unique and historic opportunity to engage communities, especially young people, in conservation. The Service, working with the National Wildlife Federation and others, is launching an outreach and education campaign with a concerted communications and marketing component to inspire actions for monarch conservation. In support of that effort, the Service would establish a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) for Monarch Conservation. Corps members will be placed in urban areas and would develop outreach and environmental education materials, create schoolyard and community habitats, train volunteers in seed collection and planting, and other outreach-related activities.

PROJECTS

Funding

Description

Region

21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) for Monarchs

$220,000

Support youth placed in strategic urban areas in the monarch’s range for periods of 4 to 8 months

R2, R3, R6, R5

 

 

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