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Monarch butterflies are of the most recognizable and beloved butterfly in North and Central America. Millions of monarchs migrate across the United States; spending their summers in Michigan and winters in Mexico. Despite the small size of monarch butterflies and other insects, they play a very large role in human's lives. Insects travel to flowering plants, drinking nectar and transporting pollen. This results in a pollination service that is responsible for 1/3 of the world's food source.
Due to a loss of habitat, the eastern Monarch population has declined by 90%. Other pollinators are experiencing a decline as well. Bees, which pollinate one third of the world's food crops, have declined 50% in recent decades. However, these alarming declines have sparked conservation programs across the nation to take action. Efforts to protect pollinators and restore habitat have been rewarded with a steady increase in monarch populations over the last few years.
In 2014, President Obama announced the first comprehensive pollinator program ever created in the federal government. The Presidential Memorandum was a collaborative effort between organizations, agencies, and federal departments to raise awareness and provide assistance to pollinators.
Pollinator health begins with you. Join us in celebrating monarchs, bees, and all other pollinators by becoming aware and participating in the tremendous ongoing conservation efforts!
How you can help
There are many different ways for YOU to help monarchs and other important pollinators in Michigan!
- Report your monarch sightings through Journey North and Monarch Joint Venture.
- Report your bee sightings through the BeeSpotter and Bumble Bee Watch.
- Learn how to help and stay up to date with the latest pollinator information - Michigan State University Extension.
- Learn about creating monarch habitat and planting native milkweed - Monarch Joint Venture.
- Six ways to save monarchs - National Wildlife Federation blog.
- Community science opportunities.
- Make a donation to the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund.
- Michigan pollinator gardening tips.
- Michigan pollinator gardening tips (accessible).
Monarch butterfly info
Learn more about the monarch butterfly with the following resources:
- Monarch conservation - Xerces Society.
- Monarch Watch.
- Resources to help pollinators – U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- Save the monarch butterfly – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
- Monarch Joint Venture resources.
- Monarch Butterfly Conservation Webinar Series – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Bee – informed
Did you know globally there are more than 20,000 species of bees and nearly 3,500 species within the United States? Check out the links below for more about bees!
- Bumble bee conservation – Xerces Society.
- Reversing pollinator decline is key to feeding the future – U.S. Department of Agriculture blog.
- Bumble Bee Watch.
- Rusty patched bumble bee: proposed listing as an endangered species – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
What's the buzz? Learn all about current projects helping pollinators.
- Pollinator Partnership.
- Monarch Joint Venture projects.
- Michigan's Managed Pollinator Protection Plan.
- Protecting pollinators with cooperative action – Michigan Farm News.
- Michigan Monarch Strategy.
For kids and teachers
Learn more about monarchs and other important pollinators with these activities and resources:
- Teaching about the Magnificent Monarch – Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
- Learn about creating monarch habitat and planting native milkweed – Monarch Joint Venture.
- Community science opportunities.
- Schoolyard Habitats program through National Wildlife Federation.