Monarch Watch Blog

IUCN Red List and the status of monarchs

Thursday, July 21st, 2022 at 9:58 pm by Jim Lovett
Filed under Monarch Conservation | Comments Off on IUCN Red List and the status of monarchs

The recent news about the IUCN’s Red List does not change the status of monarchs in the U.S. In a December 15, 2020 press release, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its decision with respect to the petition to declare the monarch a “threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act:

“After a thorough assessment of the monarch butterfly’s status, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has found that adding the monarch butterfly to the list of threatened and endangered species is warranted but precluded by work on higher-priority listing actions. With this decision, the monarch becomes a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and its status will be reviewed each year until it is no longer a candidate.”

Upon that announcement, we wrote that the “warranted but precluded” decision for monarchs is the right one at this time. It acknowledges the need for continued vigilance due to the numerous threats to the population while emphasizing the need to continue support for programs that create and sustain habitats for monarchs. It also should be clear that it is the North American monarch migration that is threatened and not the species, which is widely distributed in the Americas and elsewhere.

Please see our full response to this posted via our blog at

Thank you for your interest and concern!

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