The Foundation’s partners will match the gift with $6.7 million, funds that will go toward improving habitat health along their migratory route – much of which overlaps with human highway I-35.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced on Monday that it is awarding $3.3 million in grants from its Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund. The amount will fund 22 grants in support of initiatives to restore 33,000 acres of monarch butterfly habitats, according to a press release.
“I’m confident that we’re going to see further progress with the monarch butterfly”, Ashe told reporters. The grants “will fund on-the-ground projects that will quickly contribute to a healthier, more sustainable monarch population”, Helms added. However, due to rapid destruction of the habitat, the butterfly population started to reduce, forcing the foundation to promote the protection of the butterflies’ habitats, said a statement about the funds. The MBCF is created to leverage the investments made by federal agencies with additional funding from other private and public donors, as well as matching resources from grantees.
“Our belief is that agriculture plays a critical role in conservation”, said Phil Miller, vice president of global government and regulatory affairs for Monsanto, at today’s Washington, D.C., press conference.
This year, approximately $1.2 million of the grant money has come from St. Louis-based agribusiness Monsanto Co., manufacturer of the Roundup weed killer that critics have in part held responsible for knocking out of habitat of monarch butterflies. In fact, the orange-and-black designs that humans find so handsome are actually poisonous, warding off butterfly predators, and monarchs owe them to the milkweed flower’s unique toxins. “We believe that environmental sustainability, as well as increased land productivity are two compatible objectives”, he continued, and “we are committed to staying the course and being a partner in this to see the monarch butterfly rebound”. “We look forward to assisting in building a more secure future for these elegant and valuable butterflies”.
“Monarch butterflies are found throughout most of the United States, and a majority of the population migrates up to 3,000 miles to overwinter in Mexico”, said the foundation. “More than three dozen NRCS conservation practices benefit pollinators, whether it’s planting milkweed or high-nectar plants in field borders, conservation buffers and pastures”. However, the monarch butterflies need more than that to survive this century.