The US Fish and Wildlife Service under a new funding initiative announced on Thursday that it will be providing a boost of $20 million to monarch butterfly rescue efforts. The Monarch Butterfly is an iconic symbol in North America.
Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe accompanied by US Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in a statement that his agency has dedicated an amount of $4 million a year over the next five years in order to provide support to monarch butterfly rescue efforts.
Monarch butterfly the iconic species is on its way to become extinct. The financial support is a follow-up to a previously announced White House push to revive the population of pollinators with habitat restoration and other means.
Ashe also visited a monarch conservation celebration at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge where he said in a new release that the money given for the rescue efforts will be specifically shared with partners to conserve monarch breeding and migration habitat in priority areas throughout the country, including Minnesota.
Seeding native milkweed along the prairie corridor that follows Interstate 35 from Duluth to Texas will be part of the effort.
Karen Oberhauser, a University of Minnesota professor said in an interview that Thursday’s funding announcement was more proof that the butterfly issue is gaining critical support.
Oberhauser, who also chairs Monarch Joint Venture, a group of researchers, conservationists, nonprofits and federal agencies, said, “It’s getting high-level attention. That’s the biggest news to me”.
Monarch butterflies travel thousands of miles over many generations during migration. The population in the wintering grounds of Mexico has dropped from more than 1 billion in 1996 to an estimated 56.5 million this year.
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