News & Insights

Cardno shares insight into new approach to address pollinator habitat loss

Cardno Senior Ecologist Dan Salas recently co-authored an article in Utility Arborist Newsline outlining a partnership between more than 30 utility companies and several state department of transportations in an effort to address the conservation needs of the monarch butterfly.

The partnership created a voluntary conservation agreement for the monarch that outlines steps to protect the butterfly’s habitat on energy and transportation lands. The partnership is led by the University of Illinois Chicago’s Energy Resources Center and the Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group.

The voluntary agreement is known as a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA), and it is designed to encourage non-federal landowners and managers to adapt measures to create net conservation benefits for the monarch.

Driving the action is the drastic decline in monarch butterfly populations in the past 20 years. By June of this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is expected to propose whether or not monarchs warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Dan summarizes the coordinated work of the partnership that culminated in the CCAA, demonstrating its potential for the monarch butterfly, and as a model for future conservation agreements. The draft version of the CCAA is currently being reviewed by the FWS.

The article is co-authored by Iris Caldwell, PE, Program Manager for the Energy Resources Center at the University of Chicago.

Read the Article

Monarch butterfly resting on flowers