On August 26, 2014, the Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, Dr. Lincoln Brower, and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation filed a petition to protect monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act. Monarchs are not currently endangered and it is important to point out that the petition requests threatened status for monarchs, not endangered. The US Fish and Wildlife Service offers more information on listing of species under the Endangered Species Act.
The petition can be downloaded in full from the Xerces Society's website. It may take you some time to read through the entire document, but make sure to read through the petition fully to better understand the rules and regulations that are suggested on the final page of the petition.
With this petition came a flurry of questions, concerns, and opinions about how this may impact monarch conservation efforts, citizen science participation, and educational monarch rearing; many potential outcomes have been put forth (both positive and negative) by numerous stakeholders. Xerces offers a FAQ document addressing many of these questions. We are currently in the "90-day finding" period, in which the US Fish and Wildlife Service determines if the petition warrants further review (more on the process here).
The review process can be very slow, so in the meantime, let's focus our efforts and resources on restoring as much habitat for monarch butterflies as we can by planting native milkweeds and nectar plants! The Monarch Joint Venture partnership works to protect the monarch migration within the United States. Your support for these conservation efforts makes a difference!