The National Wildlife Federation

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Supporting Monarch Butterflies’ Iconic Fall Migration

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Each fall, monarch butterflies embark on an iconic migration to their wintering grounds. Unfortunately, both the eastern and western populations of monarchs are in real trouble, with numbers plummeting in the last few decades by as much as 90 percent for the eastern population and by over 99 percent for the western population. With the arrival of fall, the National Wildlife Federation urged the public to do its part to turn the tide for these magnificent butterflies.

“If we want our future generations to enjoy the sight of the incredible monarch migration, we all need to join the fight to save this magnificent species. Fortunately, all of us can help by following a few simple steps from the safety of our own homes,” said National Wildlife Federation Naturalist David Mizejewski. “Since adult monarch butterflies feed on flower nectar, you can start by planting native wildflowers to provide monarchs with refueling stations along their migratory journey. Remember to avoid purchasing plants treated with neonicotinoids, as well as spraying insecticides in your yard, especially on fall-blooming plants that monarchs are likely to visit along their migration routes. Instead, follow organic gardening techniques and plant native trees, where butterflies can gather at night or during periods of high winds and bad weather.”

You can also support this majestic species by encouraging your community's leadership to take the Mayors' Monarch Pledge. Mayors and other municipal leaders can spearhead local monarch conservation efforts by following the recommendations of the pledge. Actions range from changing weed ordinances so that they accommodate monarch-friendly plants to issuing an official monarch conservation proclamation and launching education campaigns on planting for monarchs in the community.

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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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