Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It’s More Than a Bug, It’s a Monarch!

Monarch butterfly conservation in the Midwest has been the latest buzz. October 2014,
Monarch butterfly. Photo by Tina Shaw/USFWS.
marked the official launch of the Service’s commitment to support the famous monarch butterfly and in February 2015 Service Director Dan Ashe furthered our commitment by dedicating $2 million dollars to address the monarch concern in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

“We can save the monarch butterfly in North America, but only if we act quickly and together,” said Ashe. “And that is why we are excited to be working with the National Wildlife Federation and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to engage Americans everywhere, from schools and community groups to corporations and governments, in protecting and restoring habitat. Together we can create oases for monarchs in communities across the country.”

Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius has directed his team to assist in monarch conservation. The Service’s Midwest Region has dedicated 55,000 acres of acquisition, enhanced and restored native prairie on service lands for monarch habitat and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (Partners Program) will be working on about 20,000 acres of privately owned lands.  All 8 states in the Midwest region are developing projects to enhance the monarch habitat; currently Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin have developed and implemented projects and will be the focus of the monarch flyway.

“We have partnered with many eager landowners that want to support monarch habitat on their land,” said Doug Helmers Iowa coordinator for the Partners Program. “We are able to double the seeds and increase ideal habitat for monarchs by partnering with Iowa Department of Natural Resource’s Prairie Partner Program.”

The Service is working quickly and effectively to find private landowners and interested partners that are willing to volunteer their land for monarch habitat.

“The Missouri Private Lands Office is immersing monarch conservation into day-to-day work.” says Kelly Srigley-Warner Missouri coordinator for the Partners Program. “We are still in the early stages of implementation, however we have collaborated with regional science staff to develop planting strategies that could attract monarchs and we are hosting Show-me the Missouri Monarch presentations to interested groups.”

As Director Dan Ashe said, monarch conservation is a group effort and together we can help conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, monarchs and their habitats for future generations.

If you are a private landowner in the Midwest region and want to know how you can help, visit the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program’s website to learn more.
Learn more about how you can help save the monarch!