Take Action Now to Help Save Western Monarchs
Join the Xerces Society in asking your elected officials to protect these butterflies
(Photo: The Xerces Society / Stephanie McKnight)
Ask congress to pass critical protections for monarchs.
The Monarch Act of 2021
The Monarch Action, Recovery, and Conservation of Habitat Act, or Monarch Act of 2021 introduced in the Senate by Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon and in the House of Representatives by Representatives Jimmy Panetta and Salud Carbajal of California will provide funding for conservation activities to restore, enhance, and manage overwintering and breeding habitats of monarch populations in the western U.S. The act will:
Authorize the appropriation of $12.5 million per year for the next five years to a Western Monarch Butterfly Rescue Fund
Provide $12.5 million for each of five years to support implementation of the Western Monarch Butterfly Conservation Plan prepared by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Facilitate the implementation of the Western Monarch Butterfly Conservation Plan prepared by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Monarchs in western North America, the population that overwinters in California, have declined dramatically in recent years. This photo was taken in 2010 at Point Lobos. The trees in many overwintering sites are now bare of butterflies. (Photo: Xerces Society / Candace Fallon.)
Why This Act Matters
Once common, the monarch butterfly is experiencing an alarming decline primarily due to the loss of overwintering and breeding habitat, pesticide use, and climate change. In the western U.S., the Xerces Society's Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count in 2020 recorded fewer than 2,000 monarch butterflies at their overwintering sites on the California coast; in 2021, the numbers modestly rebounded to ~250,000. These low numbers indicate the monarch overwintering population remains at >5% of its historic size. As the western monarch population edges closer to extinction—and with no federal or state protections—monarchs need the resources that this act will provide to support restoration of their habitats and, ultimately, the recovery of their population. This act will provide much needed support at a critical time.