Conserving the Nature of America 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.

In 2014, we were petitioned to protect the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act. Based on information in the petition, we determined that federally protecting the monarch may be warranted and we published a 90-day substantial finding in the Federal Register on December 31, 2014. Publication of the 90-day finding also announced that we would conduct a thorough assessment to determine if the monarch butterfly needs Endangered Species Act protection. We are now conducting the assessment using the Species Status Assessment framework.

Learn more

Extension of deadline to determine whether the monarch butterfly warrants Endangered Species Act protection

Petition to protect the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act (4.8 MB PDF)

Monarch species status assessment fact sheet (PDF)

Monarch Conservation Database

Species status assessment fact sheet (PDF)

Species status assessment update presentation - August 2017 (4 MB PDF)

Watch the species status assessment update webinar - August 2017 (24 minutes)

Scientists can connect through the Monarch Conservation Science Partnership

90-Day warranted finding on petition; Service initiates status review

Conservation for species being evaluated for listing

Many folks are taking action to conserve monarch butterflies. Sometimes early conservation efforts can prevent the need to list a species under the Endangered Species Act, if they are effective. Below are tools used under the Act to encourage and document conservation for species that we are considering for listing.

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

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 (CCA). CCAs 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.

Policy for evaluation of conservation efforts (PECE) when making listing decisions (PDF)

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.

What's next

May 2020

Monarch conservation plans and efforts due to Monarch Conservation Database

December 15, 2020

Listing decision is due