Western Monarch & Native Insect Pollinator Working Group

The Western Monarch & Native Insect Pollinator Working Group (WMNIP) was established by the WAFWA President and directors in 2017 to proactively lead a multi-state cooperative effort for conservation of the western monarch population. In 2022, this group renamed from Western Monarch Working Group to Western Monarch & Native Insect Pollinator Working Group to include other native pollinators.

Migration Keep Monarchs Migrating Learn More Migration is an important component of the monarch butterfly’s life history.

Monarchs complete a fascinating, annual, multi-generational migration, returning to the same overwintering sites each fall and staying there through the winter until the next breeding season.
05 01 Keep Monarchs Migrating
Western Monarch Butterfly Pacific Grove, Photographer Carly Voight
Habitats Support Monarch Habitat Learn More Protecting monarchs means preserving and restoring their habitats.

Monarchs use a variety of different habitats to complete their lifecycle, including patches of milkweed for breeding, nectar plants for migration, and coastal groves of trees for overwintering.
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Credit: Amanda Barth
Get Involved Monarch Community Science Learn More One of many ways to get involved in monarch conservation is to help community science programs collect data on monarchs and their habitat. 05 03 Keep Monarchs Migrating Credit: Emma Pelton Wild Keep Western Monarchs Wild Learn More Captive rearing by the public is not a viable conservation strategy.

This approach is not currently recommended by conservation experts because of the potential impacts it may have on the health and natural distribution of the wild monarch population.
05 04 Keep Monarchs Migrating
Credit: Project Monarch Health
Threats Threats to Western Monarchs Learn More Monarch recovery depends on reducing environmental stressors.

The WAFWA Western Monarch Conservation Plan outlines the multiple interacting factors that are thought to have caused the dramatic, recent fluctuations in the western monarch population.
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Credit: Xerces

2023-2026 Work Plan

2023-2026 Work Plan
1 views / 277 downloads
    November 9, 2023
Publication Details

The goal and purpose of the WAFWA WMNIP working group is to identify and prioritize voluntary strategies and actions with landscape-level benefits to declining populations of insect pollinators. In particular, the 2023 Work Plan aims to benefit wide-ranging species through multistate and agency coordination, to facilitate species recoveries and thereby preclude the need for federal listing actions.

This work plan provides WAFWA WMNIP working group state members and partners with a near-term (less than 3 years) direction and strategies for identifying shared priorities, best management practices, and partnership opportunities to facilitate voluntary conservation actions for at-risk, native insect pollinators and their habitat.

Western Monarch Butterfly Conservation Plan, 2019–2069

Western monarch butterfly conservation plan, 2019–2069
2992 views / 14097 downloads
    July 1, 2019
Publication Details

Concurrent with the status review, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) have actively promoted collaborative efforts across state, organizational, and landownership boundaries to address threats and opportunities facing monarchs and other pollinators. This document, The Western Monarch Butterfly Conservation Plan, is intended to articulate and attain WAFWA’s vision to identify and promote a shared set of coordinated, ecosystem-based conservation strategies across all partner agencies to achieve the vision of a viable western monarch population. VIEW


Conservation Recommendations

Under the Section 7(a)(1) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), conservation recommendations are discretionary activities that an action agency may undertake to avoid and minimize the adverse effects of a proposed action, implement recovery plans, or to develop information that is useful for the conservation of listed species. The purpose of the following conservation recommendations is to encourage federal agencies to incorporate monarch butterflies into their Environmental Assessments and Biological Assessments associated with Section 7 Biological Opinions, when in consultation with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. These recommendations are organized by habitat zone, so that they may be cut/paste, as applicable and contingent upon project location. There is potential utility for these recommendations beyond Section 7, and they are intended to promote benefits for other pollinators as well.

Western Monarch Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool

Monarch CHAT

Under the Western Monarch Butterfly Conservation Plan, the western landscape was geospatially evaluated and ranked according to its potential to provide monarch habitat. These Monarch Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (Monarch CHAT) rankings, in combination with other information, are used to inform and strategically target conservation efforts to help preserve and improve monarch habitat across the western United States.  View the Monarch CHAT.

Recorded Webinar Series

Western Pollinator Conservation 2022

Interested in how you can help with native bumble bee and western monarch butterfly conservation?

This recorded webinar from May 4th, 2022 covers the status of bumble bees of concern and western monarchs, how to use apps to report field observations of pollinators, and where to find the best reference materials to guide you in the field. This webinar is relevant for federal and state employees based in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Arizona, or Utah. View Announcement.

View the Presentations

Monarch Conservation Webinar Series 2020

The Monarch Conservation Webinar series is a collaborative effort between Monarch Joint Venture Partners and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center. To access the recorded series and learn more, please visit: https://monarchjointventure.org/resources/monarch-webinar-series

Western Monarch & Native Insect Pollinator Working Group Publications

View all Publication developed by the WAFWA Western Monarch & Native Insect Pollinator Working Group.

About. To help the monarch recover back to historic levels, state fish and wildlife agencies along with public and private partners need to work together to continue taking actions across the monarch’s western range. The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies developed a 50-year Western Monarch Conservation Plan to guide conservation efforts. Learn more about the actions you can take to preserve the monarch migration, support monarch health, ameliorate threats, and contribute data that guides recovery efforts.

Statement of Purpose

To identify and promote unified, ecosystem-based management approaches at the landscape-level for the western population of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus plexippus), and pollinators in general, across all partner agencies and interested partners.

Related Events

Event Type Date Location
Out West: Western Monarch Conservation Efforts - Overwintering Habitat Workshop August 20, 2020 - August 20, 2020 Webinar
Out West: Western Monarch Conservation Efforts - Breeding and Migratory Habitat Workshop July 16, 2020 - July 16, 2020 Webinar
Out West: Western Monarch Conservation Efforts - Policy Update Workshop June 18, 2020 - June 18, 2020 Webinar

Members List

Taylor Cotten, Chair
Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife
Nate Pamplin, Leadership Sponsor
Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Amanda Barth, Member
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Cheri Boucher, Member
Arizona Game & Fish Dept.
Hillary Sardiñas, Member
California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Dr. Rex Sallabanks, Member
Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game
Davia Palmeri, Member
Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife