In a press release, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced $1.7 million in grants to conserve monarch butterflies and other insect pollinators in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The grants will generate $3.3 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $5 million.
The grants were awarded through the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund (Pollinator Fund), a partnership between NFWF and Bayer Crop Science, Shell Oil Company, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The projects supported by the 13 grants announced will increase the quality and quantity of pollinator habitat for monarch butterflies, rusty patched bumblebees and other native pollinators. The projects will also enhance outreach and organizational coordination. Collectively, the funded projects will:
- Restore and enhance more than 32,000 acres of pollinator habitat
- Collect more than 200 pounds of milkweed seed
- Propagate more than 19,000 milkweed seedlings
- Host more than 160 workshops and meetings that advance pollinator conservation
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 more than 80% throughout much of its range. Several other pollinators have experienced similarly dramatic declines in recent decades. Habitat loss is a primary threat to many of these species.
In 2015, NFWF established the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund, a public–private partnership that funds projects to protect, conserve and increase habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators. By leveraging the resources and expertise of its partners, the fund is helping to reverse recent population declines and ensure the survival of these valuable species.
A complete list of the 2020 grants made through the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund is available here. A short video about the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund can be viewed here.