Secretary Haaland  joined science experts and policymakers at the first-ever Monarch Butterfly Summit in Washington, DC, on June 22-23, 2022

Secretary Haaland  joined science experts and policymakers at the first-ever Monarch Butterfly Summit in Washington, DC, on June 22-23, 2022

The first-ever Monarch Butterfly Summit will take place in Washington, DC, on June 22–23, 2022, and will include participation from the Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Shannon Estenoz, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Martha Williams, and Senator Jeff Merkley.

The two-day summit brought together important stakeholders from the science and policy communities to identify priority actions to conserve the western monarch butterfly.

It was organized to share the most recent scientific findings and conservation efforts being made to address the long-term population decline of the butterfly.

The current state of research, natural history, population status, ecosystems, and obstacles to successful conservation were presented by eminent specialists.

During the conference, Senator Merkley and Secretary Haaland made the following announcements regarding the Department’s investment in monarch conservation:

The Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) will receive a $1 million grant from the Department.

By enhancing the accessibility of high-quality habitat, boosting the capacity required to expand conservation efforts in the future, and supporting the implementation of technical assistance to engage private landowners with pollinator conservation practices on working lands, this public-private partnership program will concentrate on the western monarch butterfly.

The program intends to assist in reversing recent population decreases and guarantee the survival of the monarch butterfly and other pollinators by utilizing the assets and knowledge of partners.

To address the decrease of pollinators, particularly monarch butterflies, the FWS will build a Pollinator Conservation Center.
The Center will provide assistance for conservation decisions wherever they are made thanks to annual appropriations.

Staff members will collaborate with other agencies and organizations as a hub for advancing the state of science and the direct conservation measures that can halt population trends in addition to working across all FWS programs and regions.

One of the most well-known species in our country is the monarch butterfly.

Over 4.5 million monarch butterflies overwintered along the California coast in the 1980s.

The population of overwintering birds in the west has decreased by more than 95% as of late.

Only 1,900 overwintering monarchs were counted in 2020, marking an all-time low for western monarch populations. Scientists and the general public were delighted to learn in 2021 that monarch populations were on the rise, with an estimated 250,000 monarchs wintering in groves along the California coast.

The dramatic multi-decade decline in the number of western monarch butterfly overwintering populations cannot be attributed to a single factor.

The long-term drop has been caused by a variety of reasons, such as pesticide use, habitat loss and degradation in breeding and overwintering locations, drought, and more frequent and severe storms and temperature extremes.

Monarch populations probably shift in response to variations in temperature, precipitation, and other environmental conditions, like many insect populations do.

All hands on deck is the strategy employed in conservation efforts, including a wide range of partners to carry out large- and small-scale conservation actions for the benefit of monarch butterflies and their habitats.

The summit’s outcomes will help to forward the cause of protecting this famous species.

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