Grants awarded to help conserve monarch butterfly
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced 23 grant awards on Oct. 5 totaling more than $3.77 million for projects to help conserve the monarch butterfly in North America.
Grant recipients have committed $5.85 million in match, generating a total conservation impact of more than $9 million.
The grants were awarded through the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund (MBCF), a public-private partnership administered by NFWF with support from Monsanto Company, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. This is the third year the fund has administered grant awards.
“The 2017 grants from the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund represent a continued commitment toward achieving the ultimate goal of restoring the monarch butterfly population to a sustainable level,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The projects include significant investments to advance vital habitat restoration and guide monarch recovery efforts across the country.”
The 2017 grants will support projects that increase the quality and quantity of monarch breeding and overwintering habitat and enhance organizational capacity. Collectively, the funded projects will:
- Restore and enhance over 43,000 acres
- Collect more than 2,800 pounds of milkweed and other native forb seed
- Propagate 131,000 native plant seedlings
- Host approximately 210 workshops or webinars
A full list of 2017 projects is available at http://www.nfwf.org/monarch/documents/2017grantslate.pdf
“The Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund delivers tremendous support through partnership-focused conservation efforts to ensure a future filled with monarchs,” said Greg Sheehan, Principal Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “The 2017 grants will enable the Service, our partners, and the public to continue providing on-the-ground results that are vital for this species that is so important in our native ecosystems as well as to thousands of farmers who rely on pollinators to help provide food to the citizens of America.”
The monarch butterfly is one of the most iconic species in North America and its annual migration cycle is one of the most remarkable natural phenomena in the world. However, over the past 20 years, the monarch butterfly population has declined by over 80 percent throughout much of its range. Primary factors include the loss of critical breeding and overwintering habitat.
“I had the opportunity to visit the winter home of millions of monarch butterflies in west central Mexico this past year, which reinforced for me the importance of these grants,” said Robb Fraley, chief technology officer at Monsanto. “Agriculture and biodiversity depend on pollinators, and we’re pleased to see the progress this partnership has made creating quality habitat for the monarch’s annual migration and for the benefit of other species as well.”
In 2015, NFWF established the MBCF, a public–private partnership that funds projects to protect, conserve and increase habitat for the monarch butterfly. By leveraging the resources and expertise of its partners, the MBCF is helping to reverse recent population declines and ensure the survival of the monarch butterfly.