Columbia, MO, July 21, 2022- The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced on July 21, 2022, that the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus plexippus) has entered the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Endangered. This listing will be the first time the monarch butterfly has officially been declared at risk of extinction. The IUCN is the leading global authority on the status of biological diversity. The IUCN Red List is one of many tools utilized in decision-making processes for public, private, and non-governmental organizations.
In December 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the monarch butterfly warranted but precluded. This decision means that the monarch meets the listing criteria under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), but there are only enough resources to focus on higher-priority listing actions. Currently, the monarch butterfly is a candidate species for listing under the ESA. Its status is reviewed each year until it is no longer a candidate.
While the monarch butterfly is still not listed as federally endangered in the United States, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides guidance for voluntary conservation actions through the Information for Planning and Consultation (IPaC) project planning tool . Many government agencies, conservation and agricultural organizations, utilities, and nonprofits have already adopted monarch conservation practices from this tool.
To learn more about the status of the monarch butterfly in the United States, visit https://www.fws.gov/initiative/pollinators/monarchs
To read the full news release from the IUCN, visit Migratory monarch butterfly now Endangered – IUCN Red List