The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service and The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have collaborated under Working Lands for Wildlife to accelerate conservation on behalf of the monarch butterfly. For the past two decades, populations of the monarchs have declined significantly across North America due to the eradication of the milkweed plant, the only plant on which the monarch caterpillars feed. This partnership aims to work with agricultural producers to make improvements on their farms, ranches, and forests, that will help the species recover.
Monarchs are known for their remarkable annual migration between central Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Conservation efforts on lands across their route can have a significant positive impact on monarchs and other pollinators. By working with farmers and other private landowners, a variety of at-risk species — including the monarch — can be helped.
Through this program, technical and financial assistance will be provided to help producers adopt conservation practices that benefit the monarch. The work will center on 10 states throughout the Midwest and Southern Great Plains that are considered the core of the monarch's migration route and breeding habitat. The work will focus on planting milkweed and other nectar plants to help the monarchs.
Significant funding has been set aside to be used over the next five years for this purpose. If you are a farmer or landowner and are interested in assistance, you can contact your local USDA service center for more information. Landowner enrollment applications are accepted on a continual basis. Conservation efforts will not only benefit the monarch but a variety of other pollinators, as well.