The monarch butterfly is in trouble

Monarch butterfly on swamp milkweed in Michigan. Photo by Jim Hudgins, USFWS.
Monarch butterfly on swamp milkweed in Michigan. Photo by Jim Hudgins/USFWS.

The monarch butterfly is one of the most recognizable species in North America and it’s in trouble. A changing climate has intensified weather events that may impact monarch populations. Pesticide use can destroy the milkweed monarchs need to survive. Habitat loss and fragmentation has occurred throughout the monarch’s range.

Numbers of monarchs have decreased significantly over the last 20 years, but together we can save the monarch. In the United States, there is a massive effort to provide habitat for monarch butterflies, imperiled bumble bees and other pollinators. There is no one group or agency responsible for providing habitat needed for monarch conservation. All organizations, agencies and individuals must work together to improve, restore and create grassland habitats to save monarchs.

No matter who you are or where you live, you can get involved today. Start by planting milkweed and nectar plants that are native to your area. Garden organically to minimize your impacts on monarchs, their food plants and other pollinators. Become a citizen scientist and monitor monarchs in your area. Educate others about pollinators, conservation and how they can help.

You can help!

You can do your part for monarchs in your backyard, on your back forty and along every back road in between.

 

Learn more and get involved

Monarchs still need your help

Monarch butterflies overwintering near Santa Barbara, California. Photo by Lisa Hupp, USFWS.
Monarch butterflies overwintering near Santa Barbara, California. Photo by Lisa Hupp/USFWS.

Monarch butterflies are astonishing creatures undertaking one of the most epic migrations in the animal kingdom. Beginning around October, they fly from central and northern U.S. states and parts of Canada to Mexico and the coast of California, where they form dense clusters high up in the trees and hunker down for the winter months.

Read the story »

Learn why the monarch butterfly is in trouble and how you can help

Tagged monarch butterfly. Photo by USFWS.
Tagged monarch butterfly. Photo by USFWS.

The monarch butterfly is one of the most recognizable species in North America and it’s in trouble. Climate change has intensified weather events which may impact monarch populations. Pesticide use can destroy the milkweed monarchs need to survive. Habitat loss and fragmentation has occurred throughout the monarch’s range. You can help!

Read the story »

How to build a butterfly and pollinator garden in seven steps

Pollinator garden in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Courtney Celley, USFWS.
Pollinator garden in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Courtney Celley/USFWS.

Monarch butterflies and pollinators are in trouble. You can help by planting a pollinator garden! You can plant a garden anywhere - your yard, school, church, business or even in a pot for your front steps.

A simple, native flower garden will attract beautiful butterflies to your yard and help pollinators stay healthy. In addition to nectar from flowers, monarch butterflies need milkweed to survive, so if you notice the leaves on your milkweed have been chomped, don’t worry, it’s a great sign!

Read the story »

Monarch caterpillar on common milkweed in Minnesota. Photo by Courtney Celley, USFWS.
Monarch caterpillar on common milkweed in Minnesota.
Photo by Courtney Celley/USFWS.

Partnerships

We are excited to be a part of leading the charge in protecting monarch butterflies across the American landscape. Saving the monarch butterfly will not happen without working together, creating collaborative opportunities. We are engaging with more than 50 partners throughout North America to enhance our conservation efforts to provide a future filled with monarchs.

Since 1995, the Wildlife Without Borders - Mexico Program has made a continuing commitment to support the conservation of monarch butterflies throughout the migration and overwintering sites.

Learn more about partnerships through Monarch Joint Venture.