Monitoring Monarchs Butterflies in Illinois
When it comes to potentially endangered species, data is the name of the game. This is no exception in the case of the monarch butterfly, which is up for final review by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in December. At that time, it will be determined if the monarch should be listed as threatened or endangered.
Multiple organizations and individuals have put considerable resources into documenting various relevant factors. Illinois Farm Bureau recently submitted six years’ worth of data to the Illinois Monarch Project, highlighting efforts to help protect pollinators throughout the state.
“The report IFB submitted helps to provide the federal government with hard facts and data about what is going on across the state so that as they work to manage conservation efforts of the monarch butterfly, they can make informed decisions,” says Lauren Lurkins, Illinois Farm Bureau director of environmental policy.
IFB also supports I-Pollinate, another organization that’s taking on the research challenge. Geared toward individual citizens, I-Pollinate encourages Illinois residents to monitor the quantity of monarch eggs and caterpillars (as well as looking out for bees and other pollinator plants). To learn more about their findings, or to become involved in their efforts, visit ipollinate.illinois.edu.