b'BackgroundThe eastern migrating population of the monarch butterflythe protection of milkweed sources and wildflowers has has seen declining numbers due to a variety of factors,increased across a variety of agricultural landscapes in the including loss of habitat and food sources, climatic changes,midwest, including Illinois. severe weather events in both Mexico and the United States,In August 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) was and pesticide use. The monarchs habitat needs are specific;petitioned to list the monarch butterfly as an endangered its caterpillars can only survive if they have milkweed, andspecies under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The FWS the adult butterflies need nectaring plants and wildflowers.is evaluating monarch-related science and conservation Monarch populations are measured by the total forest areaefforts before making a final decision. As part of this effort, occupied by monarchs over the winter in the oyamel forestsmany stakeholders throughout the monarchs migration of central Mexico, the destination of their 3,000 plus milepath are using this opportunity to inform the FWS about migration (see Figure 1). During the 2017-18 winter season,conservation efforts, successes, and future plans.the total forest area occupied by overwintering monarchsIn an effort to restore monarch habitat, the state of Illinois was 2.48 hectares. During the 2018-2019 winter season, thehas set a goal of adding 150 million additional milkweed area increased to 6.05 hectares (see Figure 2). Conservationstems, along with appropriate nectar sources by 2038. experts hope to bring the overwintering coverage area toTo accomplish this goal, participation will be necessary approximately 6 hectares on average, which they believe from the agricultural industry, those who manage and will result in a sustainable population that can withstandprotect natural lands and rights-of-way (ROW), and urban seasonal variations.stakeholders. This report summarizes the efforts taking Increasing monarch populations to a sustainable levelplace within the agricultural industry in Illinois. will require a multi-pronged approach from a variety of stakeholders across the monarchs migration range. Agriculture has played a critical role in installing and managing habitats designed to support pollinators for many years. This work continues with a focus on monarchs, and 4Background'