Nationwide Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) for monarch butterfly on energy and transportation lands

Monarch butterfly pollinators

Cardno facilitated and authored a historic nationwide conservation agreement for the monarch butterfly.

In a first-of-its-kind conservation effort for the monarch butterfly, Cardno supported the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with facilitating a partnership between transportation and energy managers from across the United States. Potentially spanning more than 26 million acres of land over the lower 48 states, Cardno worked with over 45 collaborating organizations, agencies, and businesses to develop a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for the monarch butterfly.

This agreement is one of the largest Candidate Conservation Agreements ever completed. It is designed to encourage non-federal landowners and managers to adapt measures to create conservation benefits for the monarch butterfly and provides a model for other at-risk species. The commitments made by utilities and transportation agencies demonstrates their investment in habitat conservation.

"Completing this agreement is a huge boost for the conservation of monarch butterflies and other pollinators on a landscape scale," Former Director of the USFWS Aurelia Skipwith said in a press release celebrating the approval of the agreement.

Monarch butterflies are pollinators, and like other at risk wildlife, their population can be affected by loss of habitat and climate change. In addition to major agreements such as the CCAA, proper habitat management, vegetation management, seeding and planting activities, responsible pesticide use, and other conservation measures can help the monarch population recover. Cardno participates in this effort by installing ecosystem restoration projects that use native plants and pollinators and develop pollinator-friendly practices.

The agreement, finalized in April 2020, encourages partners to adopt measures that are beneficial to key wildlife species and pollinators. In addition, it was lauded by conservation groups, industry partners, and the USFWS for its collaboration and conservation commitments. In its first year of implementation, it has received more than 25 applications from utilities and highway agencies across the country.

Learn more on the UIC’s national monarch CCAA website.