Monarch Butterfly Stories

  • Troubling news for monarch butterfly populations

    March 21, 2023

    Presence of monarch butterflies in their wintering habitat drops 22% in one year.

    Dozens of monarch butterflies cluster on a tree in butterfly reserve in Mexico
  • Migratory monarch butterfly now classified as Endangered

    July 27, 2022

    It’s troubling news for an insect that represents nature at its most powerful — a tiny, delicate creature that can travel nearly 3000 miles from the northern US and southern Canada to its overwintering destination in Mexico.

    Monarch butterfly perched on a purple flowered stem in the El Rosario Monarch Reserve in Mexico
  • Eastern monarch butterfly population shows signs of recovery

    May 24, 2022

    The presence of monarch butterflies in Mexico’s forests this past winter was 35% greater than the previous year, according to the most recent survey of the region led by WWF Mexico. This increase marks a sign of recovery—albeit a fragile one—and gives some reason for hope against a backdrop of several decades of decline for the iconic species.

    monarchs in flight
  • The great monarch migration

    March 16, 2021

    Every year, the Eastern monarch butterfly flies up to 2,500 miles from its breeding grounds in the US and Canada, all the way down to its hibernation grounds in central Mexico. These tiny creatures have the most highly evolved migratory pattern of any known species of their kind, but this unique phenomenon is under threat.

    Monarch butterflies
  • In Mexico, teachers learn the art of butterfly conservation firsthand

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2021
    Winning Natural Habitat Adventures' 2020 Monarch Butterfly Scholarship Grant gave two teachers from the midwest the chance to experience butterfly conservation firsthand in Michoacan, Mexico.
    Monarch on flower
  • New study indicates a 53% decrease in area occupied by monarch butterflies

    March 13, 2020

    The latest survey assessing the population of monarch butterflies that winter in Mexico indicates a population decrease of 53% since the previous season. In the 2019-2020 wintering season, the area of forest occupied by monarch butterflies was 7 acres, down from 15 acres in the 2018 - 2019 season.

    Monarch butterflies in Mexico reserve
  • Making a home for monarchs in Mexico

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2020
    While monarchs are not endangered, their marvelous migration is at risk. Because they cluster in an area of just a few squares miles, loss of habitat to forest degradation has serious consequences.
    Monarch butterflies
  • Monarch butterfly populations are on the rise

    January 30, 2019

    The latest survey of monarch butterfly habitat in Mexico is a testament to the power of conservation. This year’s survey, conducted by WWF-Mexico and partners, found monarchs in 14.94 acres of forest, up from 6.12 acres at the same time last winter.

    monarch on flower WW225154
  • As monarch butterflies lose ground in Mexico, WWF seeks solutions in America’s heartland

    When we think of wild animals losing their habitats, we usually envision elephants, rhinos, and tigers in faraway places. But monarch butterflies are losing their homes right here in the US—and our food is playing a part.

    Monarch among goldenrod
  • Discovering monarchs by the millions in Mexico's highlands

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2017
    I’d come to the El Rosario Preserve in Mexico to witness one of nature’s most majestic spectacles: the wintering roost of the monarch butterfly.
    monarch cluster winter2017
  • Working together to save World Heritage Sites

    April 18, 2017

    On World Heritage Day, we’re highlighting some of the incredible sites that WWF is working to save. These sites belong to all of us, and together we can protect them for wildlife and people around the world.

    Green turtles in the ocean.
  • Monarch Heroes

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2017
    Across the country, people are taking action for monarchs. Here are their stories.
    monarch on a flower
  • Working together for monarchs

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2017
    In Iowa's farm country, two families share stewardship of the land and help butterflies
    monarch butterfly
  • New study shows 27% decrease in area occupied by monarch butterflies

    February 09, 2017

    The latest survey of monarch butterfly’s winter habitat in Mexico is a stark reminder that these butterflies are in need of protection: The area occupied by the butterfly colonies has decreased 27% compared to last year’s survey, which is conducted every winter at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve.

    Monarch Butterfly
  • 5 clever animals that change costume

    Come Oct. 31, folks across the country will transform from everyday people to ghouls, goblins, and more. But humans aren’t the only ones who change costume. Check out the animals below that change their color, shape, and more seasonally or over time.

    An arctic fox sits on a rock
  • What’s black and orange and in the wild?

    On Halloween, we’re all searching through our clothing for the perfect black and orange outfit. Some animals in the wild already sport the colors. From swimming the seas to flying through the skies, these creatures don Halloween fashion all year round.

    Monarch Butterfly
  • Monarch Butterfly Plants: How Garden Milkweed Gives Butterflies a Boost

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2015
    Help restock the monarch’s migration route
  • Three Nations Unite to Protect Monarch Butterflies

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2014
    Advances for a species on the verge
    monarchs in flight
  • Protecting Monarch Butterflies and Their Forests

    February 28, 2013

    Every year, monarch butterflies mirgrate between 1,200 to 2,800 miles, leaving their summer breeding areas in Canada and the United States to return to hibernation colonies in the forests of central Mexico. To help local communities keep the forest intact, WWF helps establish alternative income-generating ventures, including sustainable mushroom and tree nurseries.