Missourians for Monarchs is a collaborative of conservation and agricultural organizations, government and non-government agencies, utilities, agribusinesses, and citizens committed to monarch and pollinator conservation. The Collaborative formed in 2015 from a grassroots statewide initiative (now known as Missouri Pollinator Network- Master Naturalists and Gardeners) to address pollinator preservation. In August of 2016, Collaborative partners signed a memorandum of understanding, formalizing the new Missourians for Monarchs Collaborative, and committed to creating and maintaining 19,000 acres of pollinator habitat annually for the next 20 years.
Missourians for Monarchs represents various fields and industries to bring them together to advocate for monarch and pollinator conservation. In 2016, the Collaborative finalized a state conservation plan (The Missouri Monarch and Pollinator Conservation Plan), making Missouri the first state in the nation to do so.
Missouri’s strategy for monarch butterfly conservation focuses on expanding and creating native milkweed and nectar blooming plant habitat necessary to support robust breeding and successful migration throughout the state. The Missouri Monarch and Pollinator Conservation Plan combines the efforts of multiple entities through awareness, education, volunteerism and non-regulatory, voluntary action.
Engage Missourians to increase and sustain habitat for monarch butterflies and pollinators through community involvement, and to seek ways for partners, communities, and agencies to coordinate similar efforts.
Missourians will continue to appreciate the importance of monarch butterflies and pollinators generating a call to action resulting in increased conservation efforts to create and promote healthy habitats that support robust populations of these species and improve our local communities.
A detailed listing of the goals for Missourians for Monarchs Collaborative are detailed in the Missouri Monarch and Pollinator Conservation Plan (The Plan). All of the goals and objectives specified in the Plan fall under one of the four over-arching goals listed below.
- Prioritize monarch and pollinator habitat areas to include state lands and private acreages to help form corridors to connect fragmented habitats.
- Increase the general public’s understanding of the plight of pollinators, the value of ecosystem services that pollinators provide to human well-being, and how citizens can participate in sustaining and increasing monarch and pollinator populations.
- Improve availability of seeds and plants, coordinate habitat site identification, provide consistent messaging, and change the “aesthetic eye” of the average citizen toward native habitat for monarch butterflies and pollinators.
- Increase pollinator habitat in Missouri by 385,000 acres (19,000 acres per year) of additional pollinator habitat with 200 milkweed stems per acre over the next 20 years. This objective is in concert with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 20-year national plan to develop 7 million acres of habitat with 1.25-1.5 billion milkweed stems.