As a growing partnership, the MJV is excited to be a part of a rapidly growing conservation movement. A 2014 Presidential Memorandum (Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators) includes provisions specifically for monarch butterflies. In addition, the pending petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider monarchs as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act is helping to drive monarch conservation efforts. Researchers, NGOs, academic institutions, and agencies have collaborated under the Monarch Conservation Science Partnership to identify targets for monarch conservation. By 2020, the primary objective is to increase eastern monarch population numbers to 6 hectares of area occupied in Mexico, or approximately 225 million individual butterflies. As a primary means of reaching this goal, the central flyway of the U.S. has been identified as a high priority for habitat restoration efforts, including the addition of at least 1 to 1.5 billion milkweed stems and abundant nectar resources to support monarch reproduction and migration. Western habitat serves as an important conservation focus for the U.S. as well, since the entire annual cycle of breeding, migrating, and overwintering occurs entirely within the boundaries of the U.S. As a flagship species for pollinator and grassland conservation, efforts to create, restore, or enhance habitat for monarch butterflies will benefit a suite of other organisms throughout North America. The charisma of the monarch butterfly provides an opportunity to engage a broad and diverse set of stakeholders in conservation on a large scale.
The 2016 Monarch Conservation Implementation Plan is designed to help facilitate cooperation and coordination in the United States to help accomplish our nation’s goals for monarchs and other pollinators. It identifies and prioritizes current important actions for monarch conservation in the U.S., and promotes cooperation between diverse organizations working together to achieve the goals outlined in the plan. The plan was originally derived from the North American Monarch Conservation Plan (CEC, 2008) , and is updated annually by the MJV partnership.
As a national coordinating body, the MJV encourages the widespread use of this plan and will help identify opportunities for collaboration between different entities. Recognizing that it will take an “all hands on deck” approach to reach our nation’s population and habitat targets, this plan was created in an effort to better coordinate monarch conservation in the U.S. The plan is now available on the MJV website here. If you have any questions regarding the plan, please contact the MJV.