Monarch Conservation Implementation Plan
Monarch conservation is a necessary subset of wildlife conservation as monarch butterflies play a major roll in pollination and environmental sustainability. The Monarch Conservation Implementation Plan was developed by the Monarch Joint Venture, a nonprofit focused on the conservation of monarch butterflies and their habitats. The implementation plan is broken up into habitat conservation, education and outreach, research and partnerships. Its intent is to provide direction by identifying key principle, goals and strategies. Although these plans are pointed toward the benefits for monarch butterflies, it will also benefit other wildlife.
The primary threat to monarchs in the Eastern United States is loss of breeding habitat. Western populations face threats during migration. The improvements and conservation of monarch habitats are critical to their survival.
The Monarch Conservation Implementation Plan aims to:
- reach and maintain monarchs across an area of 6 hectares of forests in Mexico
- average 500,000 butterflies across 75 locations
- create and restore monarch friendly habitats with abundant nectar resources
- establish protective policies for the currently monarch populations focusing on the most at-risk locations
The plan is intended to be implemented by monarch conservation groups across the United States. Continuation of monarch conservation efforts across Northern America, are to be built upon recent developments to include the 2008 North American Monarch Conservation Plan and the 2014 petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to include Monarchs. The Endangered Species Act is under review to determine whether of not to include monarch butterflies.
To preserve monarchs and their habitats public and private lands will be improved to better manage milkweed and nectar resources. Awareness will be raised by increasing education and outreach as well as building and creating partnerships. The conservation plan also includes research into monarch habits. Conservation groups can focus on particular areas of work whether it be habitat, education, research or partnership.
Because monarchs are such a staple image, they inspire people to engage in conservation benefiting an array of wildlife. Science-based information must be collected and communicated clearly in an accessible manner to raise awareness and highlight the importance of conservation involvement. Research will assist in developing a more thorough understanding of monarch biology, threats, trends and habitats. The Monarch Conservation Science Partnership (MCSP) is a group working together to better understand the threats faced by monarch butterflies. They monitor monarchs and their habitats and provide data to support effective conservation. Community scientists and volunteers help conduct research. Taking this information and engaging with partners is critical to the conservation process. To reach the goals stakeholders must be targeted and engaged. By incorporating and building partnerships efforts can be maintained over the years. Developing teams across all areas of work create a collaborative, large reaching approach to monarch conservation which promotes the work of others.
To track the effort of the Monarch Conservation Implementation Plan consistent metrics are encouraged. Research findings can be reported in the MJV Partner Portal.