Moving Into June
June is almost here and monarchs are still on the move. Manitoba and southern Ontario are hotspots of activity. Western monarchs reports were few as the spring migration winds down. Please keep reporting your observations!
Eastern Monarch Population
Eastern Monarch Spring 2023 Report #8
This week, the leading edge of the eastern population is hovering between latitude 46–49°N. Southern Ontario and Manitoba are hotspots of activity. At this same time last year, there were no reports yet from Manitoba. Female monarchs are laying eggs of the 2nd generation now. And monarch larvae are being observed as far north as latitude 44°N in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Western Monarch Population
Letter from Gail Morris: Western Monarch Spring 2023 Report #11
New sightings were few as monarchs near the end of their spring migration. Dr. David James journeyed to Trinity River in Northern California and shares his report in this week’s Western Monarch report.
Change of Status for the Monarch Butterfly
Efforts in Canada
In their recent newsletter, Mission Monarch outlined important changes in monarch butterfly conservation in Canada: “The Government of Canada is looking to reclassify the monarch butterfly as an endangered species! On May 13, 2023, a proposed Order to amend Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) was published in the Canada Gazette, to move the monarch from its current status of Special Concern to Endangered. The government will hold a 30-day consultation on the proposal, currently in progress until June 12, 2023, and where all Canadians are invited to submit their comments. The up-listing to Endangered will afford more protections to monarchs. It also triggers mandatory recovery planning to address threats to its survival or recovery, including, among other things, the identification of the species’ critical habitat, based on the best available information.” (Read the full newsletter here.)
Efforts in the United States
On December 15, 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a 12-month finding on a petition to list the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Based on a thorough review of the monarch’s status, they determined that adding the monarch butterfly to the list of threatened and endangered species was warranted but was precluded at that time by work on higher-priority listing actions. The monarch butterfly became a candidate for listing, with its status to be reviewed each year, and a proposal for listing in 2024 if still warranted.