Statewide Plan to Save the Monarchs Takes Flight, 40+ Organizations Call Upon Citizens to Join Project

Monarch butterfly on tall thistle

Monarch butterfly on tall thistle Photo credit: © Chris Helzer/TNC

In the last decade, due to habitat loss and other factors, monarch butterfly populations have
plummeted at an alarming rate – an estimated 80-90 percent since 1996. Oklahoma plays
a critical role in their survival by being centrally located in their migration pathway each spring
and fall.

Unwilling to risk the loss of this species forever, more than 40 organizations founded the
Oklahoma Monarch & Pollinator Collaborative (OMPC) in 2016 and created a plan to increase
Monarch habitat in the effort to give this butterfly, and other pollinators, a fighting chance to
stay off the federal Endangered Species List and thrive once more. The Conservation Coalition
of Oklahoma Foundation and National Wildlife Federation are founding members of the
Collaborative.

This month, the OMPC launched Okies for Monarchs, a statewide campaign to educate, engage
and support Oklahomans in the creation of more habitat and nectar sources for monarchs and
pollinators. This campaign is part of the OMPC statewide plan and features okiesformonarchs.org,
a robust online resource with free access to tools and resources for all
Oklahomans including residents, corporations, government, farmers/ranchers, tribal nations,
teachers/students and artists.

“This statewide plan is truly an all-hands on deck, cross-sector, statewide initiative,” said Mary
Waller, OMPC director. “This is our best hope of boosting monarch populations, which will also
result in better habitat for other pollinators and wildlife. The Okies for Monarchs campaign
aims to engage a multitude of Oklahomans and encourage action on various land types.”

A diverse consortium of subject-area experts and passionate citizen enthusiasts, OMPC includes
but not limited to university professors in the botanical and biological fields; team members
from state and federal conservation organizations; representatives of governmental wildlife
and infrastructure agencies.

The Collaborative’ s focus is to advance best-practice tools and activities to tackle those efforts
that are more difficult and/or costly – such as land management, cultural and policy issues –
with the collective goal of change to support monarch-friendly habitat and mindset in the state
for decades to come. The final plan includes over 150 individual actions across land use sectors
and supporting activities.

Get to know the Okies for Monarchs website and share it with your community. The site
highlights real ways Oklahomans can help the monarchs, such as: planting a pollinator garden,
making a pledge (commitment to one or more activities), encouraging mayors to take the
pledge, participating in a tagging event and using links to follow or report species sightings in
our state. Visit, pledge and grow at okiesformonarchs.org

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How You Can Help

The Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma, a 501(c)4 non-profit, is built to amplify the voice for conservation throughout Oklahoma. Created to bring together many of this state's great conservation organizations, we are creating a pivotal space for this state's wildlife, outdoors, and natural resource interests. Learn more about the CCO and how ...
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