Monarch Butterfly External Affairs

Assessing the status of the monarch butterfly

Tagged monarch butterfly in Minnesota. Photo by Katie Steiger-Meister, USFWS.
Tagged monarch butterfly in Minnesota.
Photo by Katie Steiger-Meister/USFWS.

On December 15, 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that listing the monarch as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act is warranted, but precluded by higher priority listing actions. The decision is the result of an extensive status review of the monarch that compiled and assessed the monarch’s current and future status. The monarch is now a candidate under the Endangered Species Act; we will review its status annually until a listing decision is made.

Learn more

News release: warranted but precluded finding

Questions and Answers: 12-month finding on a petition to list the monarch butterfly

Questions and Answers: Designation of the Monarch as a Candidate Species – ESA Section 7

Species Status Assessment Report (5.5 MB PDF)

Pesticide Supplemental Materials (536 KB PDF)

Species Assessment and Listing Priority Assignment Form (1.2 MB PDF)

12-month finding presentation (1.6 MB PDF)

Weighing the science: assessing the status of the monarch butterfly

Using models to predict the future for monarchs

Federal Register (261 KB PDF)

Monarch Conservation Database

Monarch petition and 90-day finding

Species status assessment framework fact sheet (PDF)

Overwintering monarch butterflies in California. Photo by Lisa Hupp/USFWS.
Overwintering monarch butterflies in California.
Photo by Lisa Hupp/USFWS.

Conservation for candidate species

We continue our active efforts to conserve monarch butterflies, working with partners across the monarch’s range. Sometimes early conservation efforts can prevent the need to list a species under the Endangered Species Act.

When making a listing decision, the Endangered Species Act requires the Service to take into account all conservation efforts being made to protect a species. This policy identifies criteria we use in determining whether formal conservation efforts that have yet to be implemented or to show effectiveness contribute to making listing a species unnecessary. Policy for evaluation of conservation efforts (PECE) when making listing decisions (PDF)

Candidate conservation agreements

Candidate conservation agreements fact sheet (PDF)

One of the principal ways of identifying appropriate conservation efforts is through the development of a Candidate Conservation Agreement. These are formal, voluntary agreements between the Service and one or more parties to address the conservation needs of candidate species or species likely to become candidates in the near future.

Policy for candidate conservation agreements with assurances (PDF)

This policy offers assurances as an incentive for non-Federal property owners to implement conservation measures for species that are proposed for listing under the Act, species that are candidates for listing, and species that are likely to become candidates or proposed in the near future.

The Nationwide Candidate Conservation Agreement on Energy and Transportation Lands for monarchs was approved in April 2020.