National Wildlife Federation Joins MJV Partnership

The MJV brings together numerous conservation, research, and educational programs along with their respective resources in a coordinated effort to conserve monarch butterflies and their amazing migration. Recently, the Monarch Joint Venture welcomed the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) as a partner to strengthen monarch and pollinator conservation throughout their networks and programs. In addition to building awareness for the plight of the monarch, it is one of NWF’s conservation goals to restore and protect wildlife habitat (focusing on butterflies and other pollinators) where Americans live, work, play, learn, and worship.

NWF's commitment to monarch conservation is supported across three areas of the organization. First, is in the Garden for Wildlife  habitat program that has been creating urban and suburban monarch and pollinator wildlife habitat for over 40 years.  Specifically, sites provide the 4 basic elements of habitat, 1) food, (native nectar and milkweed), 2) shelter, 3) resources to raise young (milkweed host plants) and 4) water.  The National Wildlife Federation will promote increased plantings of monarch habitat through education and outreach across its online community of over 200,000 wildlife gardeners, more than 180,000 registered wildlife habitats, approximately 8,000 schools and 130 cities and towns.  In March, 2015, NWF will launch the Butterfly Heroes Campaign targeting its Ranger Rick magazine circulation of over 600,000 and membership markets of over a million nationwide.  This program will encourage kids, families and individuals to pledge to take action to help monarchs. To help them begin, participants will receive a starter kit (guidance and seed packs) to create a butterfly garden habitat.

Secondly, NWF promotes habitat for monarchs and other pollinators through restoration of habitat on the agricultural landscape. NWF recognizes the increased need for native milkweed to restore monarch habitat across large landscapes, suburban and urban gardens and acknowledges the role the seed and nursery industries must play. To that end, NWF is committed to facilitating further conversations in concert with current efforts of Xerces Society, Monarch Watch , other Monarch Joint Venture partners, and seed associations regarding scale and quality of seed required. Finally, NWF is committed to advocating that federal agencies take specific actions to increase native grassland and meadows.

In response to the Presidential Memorandum highlighting the plight of pollinators nationwide, NWF is currently facilitating the joint efforts of a national coalition of habitat garden organizations and seed and gardening supply associations on behalf of the White House Office of Science, Technology and Policy. They have also partnered with the U.S .Fish and Wildlife Service to support a comprehensive United States strategy to help the declining numbers of monarch butterflies. Through its Eco schools and Schoolyard Wildlife Habitats, NWF is partnering with 24 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuges nationwide.  In addition, NWF plays an integral role in the pollinator education and outreach plans for the U.S. State Department and other federal agencies.

Through the Monarch Joint Venture’s extensive partnership and resource availability, we will help to strengthen NWF’s programs to promote monarch conservation. We’re excited to engage NWF as a new partner that will help spread the monarch conservation message to their network, promote a more monarch-friendly approach to gardening for wildlife, and provide knowledge and expertise in establishing wildlife habitat in agricultural areas.

To learn more about the National Wildlife Federation and partnerships on this topic, visit their website: http://www.nwf.org/Pollinators.aspx

Also, learn more about NWF’s cooperative agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service here: http://www.fws.gov/news/ShowNews.cfm?ID=6F984BBC-D85B-FEE8-4C58EF75037F8B59