Arizona Monarch Collaborative

Noteworthy Items

Xerces Thanksgiving Count Results - January 2021

The Xerces Society announced on January 19 that only 1,914 monarch butterflies were recorded overwintering on the California coast this year. This critically low number follows two years with fewer than 30,000 butterflies—the previous record lows—indicating that the western monarch butterfly migration is nearing collapse. The final results from the 24th annual Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count show a 99.9% fall from the number of monarchs in the 1980s, when butterflies filled trees from Marin County to San Diego County.

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.

A new compilation of AZ-specific BMPs has been added to the Resources section of the webpage

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

Arizona IMMP Field Photos

Arizona Monarch IMMP Field Photos