The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it will leave the monarch butterfly off the endangered species list. The Service issued a “warranted but precluded” decision, which means the monarch will be considered a candidate species for now. The Service will continue to study the species and review its candidacy for listing on an annual basis.
“America’s farmers welcome the U.S. Fish and Wildlife decision to continue monitoring the health of the monarch butterfly population,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “Preserving natural surroundings for America’s wildlife has long been a priority for America’s farmers and ranchers. More than 140 million privately owned farm and ranch acres are enrolled in voluntary conservation programs, providing habitats for countless animals and insects, including the monarch. Farm Bureaus across the country have been involved with state and regional planning efforts for the monarch – joining forces with the energy and utility sectors, those who manage natural areas, and our urban hubs across the country – to meet ambitious goals for the species. The warranted but precluded decision will give all stakeholders time to continue conservation and research efforts.”
More than half a million acres alone are currently set aside specifically to provide habitat benefits to bees and butterflies. Farm Bureaus across the country have played an important role in education and outreach that has led to increased habitat across the monarch flyway.
AFBF is also a member of “Farmers for Monarchs,” which is committed to protecting the butterfly population through voluntary efforts to restore and enhance habitats.