Make Your Efforts Count with HabiTally

Due to climate change, drought, habitat loss and more, monarch butterflies face many challenges that impact their health. This has led to a decline in their population over the last two decades. Additionally, by the end of 2020, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will make a decision on their recommendation for monarch butterflies to join the list of animals protected under the Endangered Species Act.

By planting monarch habitat and recording these efforts in the HabiTally app, we can all do our part to support monarch butterflies this spring. This habitat is made up of milkweeds and other native nectar flowers. Milkweeds are a group of flowering plants that not only provides food for monarch caterpillars but is also the only place they lay their eggs. In addition, having a variety of other flowers that produce nectar throughout the spring, summer and early fall will help provide a food source for the adult monarch butterflies as they migrate across the landscape during these seasons. We can plant monarch habitat in our gardens or in other unused areas on our properties. Record both your new planting efforts or any monarch habitat and milkweed that already grows on your land in the HabiTally app.

HabiTally, a free mobile app developed by The Climate Corporation and Bayer and donated to Iowa State University (ISU), is available in the Apple app store and enables users to enter data about their monarch habitat conservation efforts. The information is shared by ISU to the USFWS and contributes to their understanding of restoration projects taking place across the nation. With enough action, monarchs may be secure enough to not join the Endangered Species list! Make sure to record your efforts by May 31, 2020 to be taken into consideration by the USFWS.

*Please note: Information collected in HabiTally will be made anonymous and aggregated at the county level. Users will be able to see a national account of efforts logged using the app.

 

In addition to looking nice, monarch habitat helps attract a variety of pollinators, improves soil health and water quality, houses natural enemies of crop pests and increases wildlife diversity. If you are a farmer looking to increase milkweed habitat in your fields, visit Farmers for Monarchs to find additional information on incentive and cost-share programs, assistance and other resources.

 

Is your state included in the monarch butterfly migration route? They are:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Oklahoma
  • Ohio
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin
  • The information collected by the app will also have lasting benefits for additional pollinators and small animals. While crucial for monarchs, habitats that consist of milkweed and other nectar plants provide important resources for other animals. The data collected through HabiTally can help inform other future decisions regarding conservation and protection.

    Together, we can make habitats count.