The 2017 Monarch Conservation Implementation Plan is now available on the MJV website. This annually updated plan, derived from the 2008 North American Monarch Conservation Plan, identifies and prioritizes monarch conservation action items in the U.S. that will help us reach our goal of restoring the monarch butterfly population to a sustainable level. Any individual or entity is encouraged to use this plan to identify and integrate priority monarch conservation actions into their existing or planned efforts.
The United States has a strong monarch conservation movement that continues to grow. We are excited to be part of this movement, and recognize this is a critical moment in history for monarchs and other pollinators.
With a nearly 90% population decline in just 20 years, and as an iconic, charismatic species, the monarch butterfly has become a flagship species for pollinator conservation. Over 20 partners have joined the MJV this year, the NFWF Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund distributed more than $3 million to habitat restoration and coordination building for monarch conservation, and in June this year the North American Leaders President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and President Enrique Peña Nieto reaffirmed their commitment to restoring the monarch butterfly population.
“We reaffirm our commitment to work collaboratively to achieve our long term goal of conserving North America’s monarch migratory phenomena and to ensure that sufficient habitat is available to support the 2020 target for the eastern Monarch population” (Leaders’ Statement on a North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership, 2016).
It will take widespread collaboration between all sectors to reach these ambitious goals and preserve the monarch migration for generations to come. As a national coordinating body, the MJV will help identify opportunities for collaboration between different entities, and support and guide conservation actions carried out by our partners.
This plan serves as a guiding document to support ongoing or new conservation actions, recognizing that it will take an “all hands on deck” approach to reach our nation’s monarch population and habitat targets. The plan may also serve to inform other funding sources in an effort to better coordinate monarch conservation efforts throughout the U.S.
To facilitate coordination and communication within monarch conservation, the MJV hosted our Annual Partners Meeting in November this year. Nearly 100 stakeholders from our diverse partnership of 57 organizations, ranging from large government agencies to local nature centers, gathered in Minneapolis to share knowledge and resources to improve monarch conservation efforts across the United States.
At the meeting, partners shared lightning talks about exemplary conservation efforts from the three priority areas of the Monarch Conservation Implementation Plan: Habitat Conservation, Education and Outreach, and Research and Monitoring. An additional focus of the meeting was strengthening communications in these areas, and building partnership and coordination efforts. We look forward to continuing to foster networking and cooperation between initiatives both within and external to the MJV.
Nearly 100 partners and other stakeholders attended the MJV annual meeting. Thank you to our partners for your conservation efforts!
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. Photos by Wendy Caldwell and MJV.