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Iowa Partnership Unveils Strategy to Conserve the Monarch Butterfly

AMES, Iowa — The Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium today released a statewide strategy to support monarch butterfly recovery in Iowa and North America.

The strategy — developed by the consortium — guides the implementation and documentation of a voluntary, statewide effort based on the best available science. The consortium is a diverse group of more than 30 collaborators, including agricultural and conservation organizations, agribusiness and utility companies, county associations, universities and state and federal agencies.

The science-based strategy fosters habitat improvements in rural landscapes that:

  • coincide with agricultural production;
  • are sufficient in scale to support improved monarch breeding success; and
  • complement other conservation programs.

The Iowa Monarch Conservation Strategy lays the foundation for the adoption of conservation practices. Immediate conservation measures include using resources in farm bill programs to establish monarch breeding habitat; volunteering to establish monarch habitat on farms in consortium-sponsored demonstration projects; using monarch-friendly weed management in ditches, roadsides and other rights-of-way; and establishing monarch way stations with native nectar plants and milkweeds in home and community gardens.

“Through creation of the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium and the development of this strategy, Iowa is a leader in working collaboratively to expand monarch habitat and increase the monarch population,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. “The state-led strategy provides Iowans with additional resources to increase monarch conservation efforts.”

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