As one of the largest military training installations in the U.S. Army, Fort Hood has maintained a commitment to the environment. One of the ways they fulfill this commitment is through their Adaptive and Integrative Management (AIM) Program. The AIM program provides long-term sustainability of training lands to support the military mission, protect mission-sensitive species, and promote environmental stewardship and conservation.
Monarchs pass through the over 200,000 acre training base every year during their fall and spring migrations. The AIM team is enacting the Fort Hood Monarch Mission, a conservation plan that focuses on research and monitoring, education and outreach, partnerships, and habitat conservation and restoration.
“Fort Hood’s AIM Program is engaging youth, soldiers, and surrounding communities in monarch conservation by creating an atmosphere for learning,” said Jackelyn Ferrer-Perez, AIM Program Manager and Wildlife Biologist. “We are pleased to partner with the MJV as part of our work.”
In the last two years, AIM installed a pollinator garden surrounded by nature trails for environmental education and conducted research to identify best management practices. In 2017, they initiated a robust monarch tagging program. To date the team has tagged, collected data and O.E. samples on over 3700 monarchs, some of which were recovered in Mexico. In 2019, AIM will continue work on pollinator habitat enhancement in a 100+ acre grassland restoration site and further their monitoring efforts by receiving training in the Integrated Monarch Monitoring Program.
“Monarch conservation requires an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach. The addition of Fort Hood’s AIM Program to the MJV Partnership is the perfect example of how everyone can contribute!” says Wendy Caldwell, MJV Executive Director.
The Monarch Joint Venture is a national partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic programs working together to conserve the monarch butterfly migration. The content in this article does not necessarily reflect the positions of all Monarch Joint Venture partners. Header photo taken by Jackelyn Ferrer-Perez, of a monarch in the AIM demonstration garden.