In 1986, the largest cooperative effort ever convened to protect wetlands, waterfowl, and other wildlife was initiated with the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. In a new approach to conservation, six regional, self-directed partnerships were created. These partnerships of agencies, non-profit organizations, corporations, tribes, and individuals—called Joint Ventures—implement conservation plans within a specific geographical area.
The current 18 habitat and 3 migratory bird Joint Ventures increase the efficiency and effectiveness of conservation by bringing together the science, people, and resources needed to develop and implement conservation strategies. Due to their remarkable success, Joint Ventures have been generally accepted as the model for moving bird conservation forward in the 21st century.
The similar migratory nature of birds and monarchs, and their use of multiple habitats across a large landscape, make the Joint Venture model ideal for building monarch conservation efforts. The monarch migration was identified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a threatened phenomenon in 1983, and in 2010 the World Wildlife Fund accredited monarchs as one of the “Top 10 Species to Watch”, in need of heightened monitoring and conservation effort.
Recognizing the need for conservation action to protect the North American monarch and its tri-national migration, a number of organizations came together to form the Monarch Joint Venture (MJV), a partnership focused on addressing monarch conservation needs across the lower 48 United States.
Initiated in December 2008, the MJV partnership is comprised of federal agencies, state agencies, non-governmental organizations, businesses and academic programs working together to protect the monarch and its annual, long-distance migration. Guided by the North American Monarch Conservation Plan (2008), the MJV is taking a science-based approach to addressing monarch conservation issues.