Partnering to conserve the monarch butterfly migration

Homeowner or Individual

Homeowner or Individual

Monarchs need YOUR help. With a tremendous geographic range and amazing migration, monarchs garner support from all over North America, but their population is in serious decline. Restoring the monarch population is going to take an all-hands-on-deck approach; research confirms that monarchs need help all over - from east to west, from urban to rural, and from Canada to Mexico. Join the international movement to protect the majestic monarch butterfly and its amazing migration for future generations to enjoy! 

Why help monarchs? 

Helping monarchs helps many other species, including humans! Planting monarch/pollinator habitat in your neighborhood or community can provide other benefits, like stormwater mitigation and improved pollination, which is vital for our food system and economy. In fact, pollinators are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat!

Pollinator habitat adds beauty to the landscape with its array of colorful wildflowers and the dazzling butterflies and insects of all types that it attracts. This beauty is abundant with opportunities for outdoor learning, enjoyment, and relaxation, which are proven to be important for our mental and physical well-being! Lastly, monarchs and humans aren’t the only ones that enjoy these habitats. Other pollinators, birds, mammals, and more also utilize monarch habitat.

How can you help? 

Plant Habitat: Monarch habitat contains both milkweed host plants and a diversity of other blooming plants! 

  • Plant native! Native nectar and milkweed plants are best suited for your location and for the pollinators and monarchs in your area.

  • Avoid buying pollinator plants treated with insecticides; systemic insecticides like neonicotinoids will harm monarchs and other beneficial pollinators long after they’ve been treated.

  • Minimize application of harmful chemicals in and surrounding your monarch habitat to avoid unintended consequences to the beneficial insects or plants in the area.

  • If you live in a city and feel like you don't have the space to plant habitat for monarchs, think again! Every stem makes a difference—you don’t need a big space to have a big impact. For small spaces, consider a container garden on a balcony or in a shared outdoor space like a patio or front walk. If you have more space - bigger is better!

Participate in citizen science: Most of what we know about monarchs is because of citizen scientist volunteers from across the continent that have been involved in studying the species for decades. By contributing observations from your yard, community, or areas you visit, researchers can learn more about monarchs and how to protect them.

Be the change you want to see in the world.  

If you care passionately about monarchs and pollinators, and want to make your voice heard, start by contacting your elected officials; visit the MJV ‘Advocate’ page for tips. Inspire your personal and professional networks to get involved in monarch conservation by sharing the monarch story and inviting their participation. Increase the impact you have in your community and for monarchs by engaging local community groups, businesses, or other organizations to become part of the international monarch conservation movement. Nature is everywhere! Take time to look closer - the beauty and diversity of what you find in monarch habitat may surprise you!

Resources

Organization

Resources

Description

Monarch Joint Venture

Citizen Science Overview

Gardening for Monarchs

Downloadable Presentations

Downloadable Handouts

Downloadable Signs and Displays

Monarch Conservation Webinars

Advocacy

www.plantmilkweed.org

Monarch Joint Venture has an abundance of resources on many monarch conservation topics. These links direct you to some commonly used tools to support efforts at your home or in your community. 

Agency Public Resources

USFWS: Save the Monarchs

USFS: Celebrating Wildflowers

NRPA: Parks for Monarchs

These are public agency campaigns to support monarch conservation with additional information and resources. 

National Pollinator Garden Network

Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

Learn more about your habitat projects can be counted in an effort to create more pollinator gardens everywhere. 

National Wildlife Federation

Mayors' Monarch Pledge

Garden for Wildlife

 

Support expansion of monarch conservation by getting your community engaged and find additional resources for gardening for wildlife in general. 

North American Butterfly Association

Butterfly Garden and Habitat Program

More specifics about gardening for butterflies and monitoring all butterfly species. 

Master Gardener and Master Naturalist

State based

Search for state or local Master Naturalist or Master Gardener networks for more information about local opportunities.

Monarch Watch

Milkweed Market

Bring Back the Monarchs Campaign

Monarch Waystation Program

Purchase locally appropriate milkweed plugs, learn about what milkweed species are important for your area, and join the 15,000+ other Monarch Waystations that are registered. 

Pollinator Partnership

Ecoregional Planting Guides

Monarch Fueling Zones

Find information about what to plant for monarchs and pollinators based on the ecoregion that you live in. 

Tallgrass Prairie Center

Prairie Restoration Handout Series

Find information about larger scale restoration or prairie plantings (non-garden). 


Wild Ones

Wild for Monarchs Campaign

Find a local Wild Ones chapter network to support your monarch conservation activities. 

Xerces Society

Establishing Pollinator Meadows Guide

Nectar Plant Guides

Find resources on establishing pollinator meadows (non-garden) and regionally appriate monarch nectar plant recommendations. 

Share Your Monarch Habitat Story

Do you have a butterfly habitat on your property? We want to hear from you! Tell us about the plants you grow, and the butterfly friendly practices you have adopted. Share your story and photos with us. Add your habitat to the map of success stories! Here are some inspiring examples.