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Continental plan to protect the monarch's migratory journey

This release is available in French and Spanish.

Montreal, 27 June 2008Canada, Mexico and the United States are joining forces to protect and conserve the Monarch butterfly, which has become a symbol of North America's shared environment.

Although the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is not in danger of extinction, its unique multigenerational migration spanning the continent is considered an endangered biological phenomenon due to threats to the monarch's habitats throughout the flyway. Because monarchs depend upon a wide range of habitats in Canada, Mexico and the United States, conservation of the migratory phenomenon requires trilateral cooperation.

The North American Monarch Conservation Plan, announced this week by the environment ministers of the three countries, outlines concerted actions to be taken in each country.

Last year, the ministers instructed the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) to build upon existing monarch conservation work by developing a North American plan aimed at maintaining healthy monarch populations and habitats throughout the migratory flyway, while promoting sustainable local livelihoods in the wintering grounds.

In response, the CEC worked with local communities and stakeholders, as well as conservation officials and agencies across the region to advance trilateral work, including a Monarch Butterfly Sister Protected Area Network.

The plan outlines a long-term collaborative agenda with nearly 60 specific actions that seek to:

  • decrease or eliminate deforestation in the overwintering habitat in south-central Mexico and California;
  • address threats of habitat loss and degradation along the monarch's migratory routes;
  • address threats of loss, fr

Contact: Eduardo Viadas
Commission for Environmental Cooperation

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