The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) this week announced $1.7 million in grants to conserve monarch butterflies and other insect pollinators in several states. 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.
“Monarch butterflies and pollinators make essential contributions to natural ecosystems, agriculture and the economy,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF, speaking on April 5. “The grants announced today will advance collaborations with public and private land managers to restore and improve habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.”
The projects supported by the 13 grants will increase the quality and quantity of pollinator habitat for monarch butterflies, rusty patched bumble bees 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.
“It is our great pleasure to support work that will have lasting impacts on monarch butterflies and other wildlife through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation,” said Kevin Nichols, Senior Vice President, US Pipeline. “These investments bring long-term benefits to the environment and communities where we live and work.”
“These grants enable us to increase capacity to help landowners and land managers plan and implement key conservation practices that benefit the monarch butterfly,” said NRCS acting Chief Terry Cosby. “Through collaborations with NFWF and many other partners, NRCS has worked with private landowners to create or manage nearly 500,000 acres of habitat on working lands. These efforts are vital for achieving healthy and sustainable populations of monarch butterflies and pollinators.”
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 percent 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.
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 5,000 organizations and generated a conservation impact of $6.8 billion. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.