Seed World

Monsanto Partners to Support Monarch Butterfly

Monsanto Company commits to supporting the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and its Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund. As the first company to contribute to NFWF’s Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund, Monsanto will provide $3.6 million over three years to match funds provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies.
These funds will support habitat restoration, education, outreach and milkweed seed production to benefit monarch butterflies — an important pollinator species.
“Saving the monarch butterfly requires us to work together with public and private partners at a continental scale,” says Dan Ashe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife service director. “This contribution to the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund will help us address threats to the monarch and its habitat, while enabling us to get Americans everywhere involved in creating and sustaining backyard habitat for the monarch and other vital pollinator species.”
The Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund focuses on three priority conservation needs to restore monarch butterflies to a more robust and healthy population:

  • Habitat restoration to plant native milkweed for caterpillars and nectar plants for adults in large, contiguous areas as well as in smaller patches, especially in edge habitat along the butterfly’s migration route.
  • Outreach and education in urban and rural communities with a focus on youth engagement.
  • Native seed production and distribution to increase production and availability of seeds and plants essential to habitat restoration.

Monarch butterflies are found throughout the United States, though a majority of the population migrates up to 3,000 miles to Mexico for the winter months. During the past 20 years, the North American monarch population has plunged from 1 billion to less than 60 million. This is due to many factors, including loss of habitat. These black-and-orange insects depend not only on nectar-producing plants throughout their range, but also milkweed — the only food source for monarch caterpillars.
In 2015, NFWF established the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund to protect, conserve and increase habitat for these iconic insects and other pollinators. The fund was designed to leverage the investments made by federal agencies with additional funding from other private and public donors, as well as matching resources from grantees.
Monsanto’s support of the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to work with others to support important biodiversity initiatives.
“As the number of people on our planet increases, agriculture is working to sustainably grow more and more food,” says Brett Begemann, Monsanto president and chief operating officer. “Because of the important role agriculture plays in the environment, Monsanto is committed to working with others to protect natural habitats and species that share our planet.”