The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has awarded the Southwest Monarch Study based in Chandler, Arizona a $88,950 grant to support the recovery of monarch butterflies in the state.
As part of the grant, these State Parks will be hosting Monarch Waystations the first year in the partnership grant: Buckskin Mountain State Park and River Island State Park (Parker); Cattail Cove State Park and Lake Havasu State Park (Lake Havasu City); Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park; Red Rock State Park (Sedona); Kartchner Caverns State Park (Benson); and Tonto Natural Bridge State Park (Payson).
The grant is being funded by the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund (MBCF), an initiative established by NFWF in 2015 and financially supported by Monsanto Company; the U.S. Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Geological Survey; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and U.S. Forest Service.
The Southwest Monarch Study is one of 22 non-profit conservation organizations, government agencies and other stakeholders to receive an award. The $3 million in grants will draw nearly $6 million in matching contributions, generating a total conservation impact of $9 million. Gail Morris, Coordinator of the Southwest Monarch Study said, “We are very excited to be part of the national conservation effort to increase and restore monarch butterfly habitats for everyone in the state of Arizona to enjoy.”
The Southwest Monarch Study will use its grant to increase monarch butterfly milkweed and migration nectar at Arizona State Parks, the Tonto National Forest and the San Pedro River through the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation. To learn more about the Southwest Monarch Study efforts, visit http://www.swmonarchs.org/news.php.
“It’s been less than two years since the launch of the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “But already, conservation professionals and volunteers across the country, like the Southwest Monarch Study, are hard at work restoring habitats that allow these beautiful creatures to complete their incredible, multi-generational migration. These grants will accelerate those conservation efforts, providing swift support to a wildlife population in dire need of help.”
Many of the agencies that received NFWF grants will work with private landowners to produce, collect, distribute and plant native milkweed and nectar plants which serve as the primary food sources for monarch butterflies and caterpillars, respectively.
Over the past 20 years, the North American monarch population has plunged to fewer than 60 million, due to many factors, including loss of critical habitat. The Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund is designed to leverage the investments made by federal agencies with additional funding from private and public donors as well as matching resources from grantees. To learn more about the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s work on monarchs as well as the 2016 grant recipients, visit nfwf.org/monarch.com.