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White House Announces Renewed Collaboration with Canada and Mexico to Conserve the Monarch Butterfly

monarch butterfly on flower

(Photo credit: Tom Hamilton-Flickr/Creative Commons)

President Obama, Prime Minister Harper and President Peña Nieto met yesterday in Toluca, Mexico for the North American Leaders Summit.  The theme of the meeting was 21st Century North America: Building the Most Competitive and Dynamic Region in the World. The leaders emerged with several commitments including the conservation of the periled Monarch butterfly.

President Peña Nieto stated, “And in the area of sustainability, we have also agreed to work on the preservation of the Monarch butterfly. It is a landmark species in North America. This is a species present in our three countries, and we have agreed to work a taskforce with a presentation from our three countries to preserve the Monarch butterfly.”

Much of the Monarch butterfly’s life is spent migrating between Canada, Mexico and the U.S., a journey that for some individuals can cover over 2,000 miles. However, this journey has become less successful for many because of deforestation, increased development, agricultural expansion, climate change, and other threats to their migratory paths and habitats. Recent studies revealed dismal results - the entire hibernating population of monarch butterflies last season decreased significantly and occupied approximately 1.6 acres of their overwintering site in Mexico.

The Canada/Mexico/U.S. Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management (Trilateral Committee) has made a continuing commitment to support the conservation of monarch butterflies.  The Trilateral Committee will address the challenges and possibly dedicate a working table to the preservation of this species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has also supported the conservation of monarch butterflies via the Wildlife Without Borders - Mexico Grants Program in partnership with SEMARNAT.


Facilitating international cooperation for conserving the living heritage of North America.

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