The monarch butterfly is one of the most recognizable species of wildlife in all of America. They undertake one of the world’s most remarkable and fascinating migrations, traveling thousands of miles over many generations from Mexico, across the United States, to Canada.
North American monarch butterflies are in trouble. Threats, including loss of milkweed habitat needed to lay their eggs and for their caterpillars to eat, are having a devastating impact on their populations and the migration phenomenon. Unless we act now to help the Monarch, this amazing animal could disappear in our lifetime.
The state of Monarchs reflects the health of the American landscape and its pollinators. Monarch declines are symptomatic of environmental problems that also pose risks to food production, the spectacular natural places that help define our national identity, and our own health. Conserving and connecting habitat for monarchs will benefit many other plants and animals, including critical insect and avian pollinators, and future generations of Americans.
We can save the Monarch, but it will take a concerted national effort.
You can help!
Every backyard can become an oasis for monarchs and other pollinators—even in cities. Schools, youth and community groups, businesses, and state and local governments can engage in planting native milkweed and protecting monarch habitat along roadsides, rights of way, and other public and private lands. By enlisting a broad group of partners, from school children to CEOs, we will build a connected conservation constituency.
The Service is excited to be partnering with National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to lead the charge in protecting monarch butterflies across the American landscape. This is just the start of many other partnerships and initiatives we intend to engage in. We are also collaborating with Canada and Mexico through the Trilateral Committee to enhance our efforts internationally to save this species.
The Service will work with the National Wildlife Federation and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to engage Americans everywhere in protecting and restoring habitat.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between NWF and the Service will serve as a catalyst for national collaboration on monarch conservation, particularly in planting native milkweeds and nectar plants, the primary food sources in breeding and migration habitats for the butterfly.
The NFWF Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund will provide the first dedicated source of funding for projects to conserve Monarchs. It was kick-started by an injection of $1.2 million from the Service that will be matched by other private and public donors.
November 12, 2015 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new conservation effort to help agricultural producers provide food and habitat for monarch butterflies in the Midwest and southern Great Plains. This targeted 10-state effort by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will invest $4 million in 2016 to help combat the iconic species’ decline.