We’re excited to announce the newest partner of the MJV, World Wildlife Fund (WWF). One of the world’s largest conservation organizations, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. This allows WWF to combine a global reach with a foundation in science, engage in action at every level from local to global, and contribute to finding innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.
The mission of WWF is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity; ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable; and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
WWF-US is beginning a monarch conservation campaign that focuses on the impacts that food systems and climate change have on monarchs and other wildlife. They engage with multiple stakeholders ranging from agricultural companies to NGOs and governments in order to reduce environmental impacts of food production and work towards more sustainable food production systems. Their past work with food systems and incentives will complement monarch programs that focus on protecting and restoring high-quality monarch habitat in agricultural areas.
“Migrating monarch butterflies are a natural wonder,” said Sarah Lynch, director, WWF’s Sustainable Food program. “Yet their populations are declining rapidly, a sign of much bigger underlying problems that threaten many more species, including our own. Many of the actions we can take to save monarchs will help build a more sustainable food system and protect monarchs and pollinators.”
WWF-Mexico has been heavily involved in conservation and monitoring of monarchs at their overwintering sites in central Mexico. Its annual reports on monarch populations in Mexico demonstrate that these migrating butterflies are in serious decline and desperately need help across North America. Its most recent report found that while monarchs rebounded from the past two years’ record lows, their numbers were still 80% lower than 20 years ago.
“We’re excited to join forces with WWF to leverage its broad reach and capacity for strengthening conservation for monarchs across our nation,” said Wendy Caldwell, MJV Coordinator.
For more information about WWF’s monarch efforts, please visit their website at https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/1-million-for-monarchs.
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 Candy Sarikonda.