Spending more time outdoors this season on your wish list? As spring weather brings new life to our backyard gardens and other habitats, and continues driving monarchs northward on their migration, it is important to think about how you can continue and expand your conservation efforts this season! While increasing or improving habitat throughout the range is central to monarch conservation efforts, there are many opportunities to take conservation a step further.
Taking Conservation to the Next Level
Conservation requires knowing four things: 1) What organisms need. 2) How those needs are met. 3) Why those needs may not be met. 4) What we can do to assure that those needs continue to be met. In order to capture this information to inform long-term conservation efforts, we need to continue developing our understanding of this incredible insect and its migration. We also need to support a growing network of conservationists who are knowledgeable about helping monarchs and other species in need of protection. If you’ve exhausted your potential habitat creations or improvements for this year, here are some great next steps for you to expand your involvement in the coming months:
Certify your habitat(s)
Share your habitat story with others by registering them with a certification program. These programs help drive awareness and build networks of habitat and individuals working together toward a similar cause. Check out monarch or pollinator habitat certification programs facilitated by Monarch Joint Venture partners. Sign up with any or all of these programs to extend the value of your habitat!
Become a citizen scientist or ‘super-volunteer’
Already a monarch citizen scientist? Then you’re probably knowledgeable about monarchs and their conservation, and would be set to easily participate in additional programs, or help teach others how to participate in monarch conservation or monitoring. ‘Super-volunteers' (citizen scientists participating in multiple projects or both habitat restoration and citizen science volunteering) contribute greatly to monarch conservation by engaging in a variety of different conservation actions (Lewandowski, 2016). For those less familiar with monarch citizen science opportunities, check out our MJV overview handout on Monarch Citizen Science and choose one or many that you’d like to participate in!
Advocate for Monarchs
Generate support in your community by speaking for monarchs and other pollinators. Share conservation information to educate those surrounding you and provide opportunities for how they can also contribute. Write to your local paper or other media outlets, present at an event, put up signs or displays at your habitat, and advocate for monarch-friendly actions to your local representatives or decision makers.
Support Monarch Conservation Financially
A financial contribution to monarch conservation efforts will support continued growth for the monarch conservation movement to help ensure that these amazing insects thrive for future generations.
Protecting monarchs for future generations is going to take all hands on deck. Thank you to everyone already pitching in to support monarchs! Be inspired to get even more involved for monarchs this year.
Reference: Lewandowski, Eva, PhD. University of Minnesota. 7 March 2016. Research presentation.
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 by Wendy Caldwell