The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced Dec. 15 that adding the monarch butterfly to the federal list of threatened and endangered species is warranted but precluded by work on higher-priority listing actions. The Wisconsin DNR will continue to support the Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative to implement the 20-year Wisconsin Monarch Conservation Strategy. That strategy seeks to enlist homeowners, farmers, utilities and other groups in voluntarily adding native milkweed and wildflowers to their property, with a goal of adding around 120 million more native milkweed stems, along with nectar sources, to the Wisconsin landscape by 2038. Habitat loss is the primary driver for the 80% decline of the eastern U.S. population of monarchs that breeds in Wisconsin during the summer.
Adding even a few native milkweed plants or wildflowers to your property can help monarchs and other wildlife. The Winter 2020 Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine also features full-color lists of native plants specifically for monarchs and birds and for beginners in landscaping with native plants. Subscribe now to receive this issue, or read the article “Never mind the cold, think spring! Plan now to add native plants” online.