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Noteworthy Items

Western Monarch Numbers are Up Again!  January 2023

The Xerces Society’s Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count for 2022 showed and increase to 335,479 monarch butterflies compared to 247,237 monarch butterflies observed across western overwintering sites for 2021. However, the population remains more than 95% below its size in the 1980s, when low millions were observed most years. 

Pollinator Habitat at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

Watch the short video below from our August 2022 field trip to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. Park Manager Andrew Young speaks about efforts to restore and improve monarch and pollinator habitat within park boundaries.

tonto monarch.mp4

Add Arizona Monarch Conservation Actions to the WAFWA Map!

If you've taken actions to help conserve monarchs, please report them to the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Associations web map. We want to show all the great things that are going on in Arizona! The map is here and an instruction sheet on how to report conservation actions is here

View the IMMP sites that have been adopted in Arizona and volunteer to help monitor, or adopt your own site!

A nationwide Candidate Conservation Agreement for monarchs on rights-of-way was finalized in March 2020

USFWS Monarch Species Status - December 2020

On December 15, 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced their decision that listing the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act is “warranted but precluded.”  This determination means that the species becomes a candidate under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), but that the USFWS is required to address other, higher priority listing decisions before proposing to list the monarch and give it full protections under the ESA. The USFWS intends to propose listing the monarch in Fiscal Year 2024, if listing is still warranted at that time, and will review its status each year to ensure its listing priority is appropriate. Additional information about the status of the monarch, the listing decision, FAQs, and monarch conservation can be found on the USFWS Monarch Butterfly webpage. The monarch’s current listing priority is based on the many conservation efforts already underway to address threats facing the species. Robust conservation efforts are ongoing across the continent, including partnerships with states, tribes, Canada and Mexico, local communities and conservation organizations, to address threats to the monarch and to bolster milkweed abundance and other habitat needs. As an example, more than 45 energy and transmission companies and state departments of transportation are participating in a formal agreement with the USFWS and voluntarily committing time and funding to carry out monarch-friendly management practices on millions of acres in rights of way. The USFWS encourages proactive conservation efforts to benefit candidate species; these efforts that may result in eliminating their need for listing or speed recovery if they are listed. 

The USFWS encourages proactive conservation efforts to benefit candidate species; these efforts that may result in eliminating their need for listing or speed recovery if they are listed. Monarch populations benefit from multiple widespread, ongoing conservation measures from large, landscape-scale efforts to the smallest gardens. Visit the Southwest Monarch Study website for some ideas of what you can do. 

Arizona IMMP Field Photos

Arizona Monarch IMMP Field Photos