Monarchs know no borders. Their flight takes them across North America, traversing three countries, and touching the hearts and minds of people from all walks of life. Monarchs are known as a symbol of migration, rebirth, and partnership.
Because monarchs cross many human boundaries and inhabit such a large area, it is a shared responsibility to protect them. Across the continent, many partners and people are working together to create and protect monarch habitat, teach their communities about monarchs, and monitor monarchs in their landscapes. Together, we can protect the monarch migration for future generations.
Monarch conservation is also an opportunity for inter-governmental cooperation between the North American nations. One example of this partnership is the North American Monarch Conservation Plan (NAMCP), published by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation in 2008. Another example is the 2016 Leaders’ Statement on a North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership, in which the presidents of Canada, the United States and Mexico re-affirmed 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.”
While the Monarch Joint Venture focuses on United States monarch conservation, we acknowledge the need for international cooperation, participation, and information sharing. MJV actively participates in tri-national discussion and cooperation between the three North American countries. In the U.S., we work with partners to implement the national Monarch Conservation Implementation Plan: a stepped down version of the NAMCP.
Visit the Monarch Conservation Efforts Map to see some organizations and individuals working to protect monarchs across Canada, the United States and Mexico. The Conservation Efforts Map is not a comprehensive list. If you know of other initiatives or resources we may have missed, please encourage them to add their efforts to the map!
On public and private lands, MJV partners are working with various landowners and land managers to restore monarch breeding and overwintering habitats. Monarch caterpillars need milkweed to grow and develop, and adults need nectar to give them energy and overwintering sites in which to rest. The MJV works to improve and maintain habitat for monarchs in each stage of their life cycle. View Projects »
While monarchs have a growing number of supporters ready to plant milkweed to support monarch populations, it is difficult to find native milkweed plants and seeds in many parts of the United States. MJV Partners Monarch Watch, the Xerces Society, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are working to increase both the supply of and demand for locally-sourced milkweed plants and seeds for gardens and larger restoration projects. Every milkweed planted can make a difference. View Projects »
Through scientific research and monitoring, we will be able to better understand North American monarch population trends, and the many factors influencing their decline. The MJV supports the expansion of monarch monitoring programs, data analyses to help understand monarch conservation issues, and research to inform and improve the success of habitat restoration efforts. View Projects »
It is only through knowledge that people will come to love and protect creatures great and small. All MJV partners are working to share information about monarchs, their migration, and opportunities to monitor and protect them, with teachers, land managers, decision makers, and volunteers. View Projects »
Monarchs to the west of the Rocky Mountains overwinter along the Pacific coastline of California and move inland in the spring to reproduce. Research, monitoring, and land management planning in this area are needed to sustain both breeding and overwintering habitats for the western monarch population. View Projects »