Urban Monarch Conservation

We know monarch butterflies for their striking orange and black wings and impressive migratory journey from Canada to Mexico. They also play an important role as pollinators in ecosystems. But monarch populations are in trouble—they’ve decreased more than 80 percent over two decades, as their habitat of milkweed and nectar plants declines throughout North America. 

Chicago and other cities play a critical role in helping monarchs recover. Individuals, communities, researchers, and cities and government officials can all contribute to building urban conservation networks. 

Scientists at the Field’s Keller Science Action Center are working to understand the role urban places play in supporting monarch butterflies, to implement community science programs around Chicago, and to develop resources that nearly anyone can use to help monarchs and other pollinators.