The iconic monarch butterfly, widely acknowledged to be facing the existential threat of habitat loss and other challenges to survival, was recently reported in numerous media headlines as receiving an endangered species listing. The monarch was placed in the “endangered” category by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, this action by IUCN, a worldwide independent nonprofit, has no direct bearing on the United States’ federal listing decision for the monarch. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) currently lists the monarch as “warranted but precluded” from listing as endangered. Additionally, the IUCN placement of the monarch in the “endangered” category does not close enrollment for those in the energy and transportation sectors interested in becoming a partner in the Monarch Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA). Only the federal listing – by the FWS – of the monarch as endangered will signify a close to enrollment in the CCAA program. Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. (WSSI) has been monitoring the process, and is active in voluntary industry efforts to support monarch populations and preclude federal listing (including the CCAA). Please see our previous Field Notes articles about the listing (December 2020) and the CCAA (July 2020).

With the IUCN listing, pressure may be building for a change in U.S. federal status. The IUCN, headquartered in Switzerland, is a highly influential 78-year old non-profit organization that operates in 150+ countries with nation states and government agencies, non-governmental organizations, scientists, and other experts as members and partners.

WSSI can help you assess the potential implications for your projects. We also work with clients to evaluate opportunities for engaging in voluntary butterfly conservation measures or other positive habitat-related actions.


  • Dan Williams

    Kent, OH

  • Mike Smith

    Gainesville, VA

  • Jen Feese, PWS, PWD

    Gainesville, VA