Regional Director Tom Melius. Photo by USFWS.
Pick a spot because seed gathering time is near
September brings us back into that contrast of hot days and much cooler nights…and to the season of migrations for birds and butterflies with its hints of Fall. An important activity this time of year is that now is the prime time to scope out your areas to collect milkweed seeds. And as we look to the future of our pollinators with this gathering of tomorrow’s seeds, it’s certainly notable that now is also the time to watch as monarchs begin the long journey back to Mexico. Learn more
I recently traveled to Fergus Falls, Minnesota, to our Prairie Wetlands Learning Center and had the chance to see the joy of butterfly conservation through the eyes of a child. They hosted a youth event where a large group of youngsters battled some winds but successfully netted and tagged a large number of monarchs. You can imagine the thrill for them as they enjoyed this hands-on portion as well as learning in the classroom more about monarchs, their stages of metamorphosis and their all-important migrations to and from our backyards and Mexico.
In a similar program last year at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center, kids caught and tagged about 200 butterflies, seven of which were actually found and identified at their wintering home in Mexico. I’d like to give a shout out to our national Monarch Implementation, Engagement and Advisory Teams who are preparing now to do more great monarch work in the year ahead.
Earlier this month, I had the great pleasure of joining Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Service Director Dan Ashe at what is the Olympics of conservation, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s “World Conservation Congress.” There we presented different sessions on monarch conservation, wildlife trafficking, endangered species and other topics to a vast gathering of conservation worldwide experts and leaders. You can watch our seminar on monarch conservation here. Attendees numbering more than 9,000 strong from 182 countries were an international who’s who list of organizations and conventions, government entities, faith based organizations and foundations. Events like this, underscore to me the great importance of our conservation work on a local and global scale.
I was also happy to have the great opportunity to take part in our Midwest Region celebration of the Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial last month at the Lincoln Zoo in Chicago. The now century old signed agreement provides a continual legacy of bird conservation success and opportunities with our partners from Canada, Mexico, Japan and Russia who all signed on to make this Treaty a cornerstone for bird conservation. Learn more
And lastly, a special shout out to our U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Environmental Leadership Award winners: Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge and Crab Orchard CERCLA. This month we’ve featured Port Louisa who won, not only this Service award but were also recognized by the Department of Energy with the 2016 Federal Energy and Water Management Award. Learn more
Enjoy this month’s Inside Region 3
Navigating Inside Region 3
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