Monarch Conservation

The monarch butterfly is being considered for the endangered species list. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been doing monarch assessments and will make its recommendation sometime this summer. The decision could have implications for Midwestern states and down through Texas and Oklahoma.

The state of Iowa is a key migratory corridor and breeding ground for the monarchs. Dana Schweitzer is with the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium. She says if the butterfly is put on the endangered species list, voluntary habitat work done now could save landowners from mandates and regulation down the road.

"If we’re able to show through these voluntary conservation practices that Iowa is maintaining and over time going to add habitat for the monarch to the landscape over these different land use areas, that’s going to be able to give U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confidence that these voluntary conservation efforts will continue to support the species to help it survive and thrive years into the future," she says.

She says overwintering numbers of the eastern monarch butterfly population in Mexico were released and they are encouraging.

"The overwintering population occupied approximately 15 acres of forest canopy in Mexico. The reason that’s encouraging is that level is a level that hasn’t been seen for approximately 10-years," says Schweitzer. "So, having sort of a high-water mark, that’s really encouraging, but it’s also really important to continue considering what these conservation practices look like over the long-term."

Most Recent Poll

Will you have enough on-farm storage for harvest?

I just want to see the responses
44% (26 votes)
Yes
39% (23 votes)
No, it’s going to be a bin-buster
7% (4 votes)
Maybe, depending on yields
5% (3 votes)
No, I am looking at new bins or temporary storage
5% (3 votes)
Total votes: 59
Thank you for voting.