skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, December 1, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

On World AIDS Day, New Mexico activists say more money is needed for prevention; ND farmers still navigate corporate land-ownership policy maze; Unpaid caregivers in ME receive limited financial grants.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Federal Bill Could Stabilize IN Monarch Butterfly Population

play audio
Play

Monday, December 27, 2021   

The number of Midwestern monarch butterflies has declined rapidly in recent decades, but a new bill pending in Congress could stabilize their population.

The bipartisan Recovering America's Wildlife Act would allocate nearly $1.4 billion annually to states to implement new conservation strategies for many threatened species.

Emily Wood, executive director of the Indiana Wildlife Federation, said the money would increase the state's current conservation budget more than tenfold.

"So here in Indiana, if that legislation were to pass, we'd be adding about $14 million to our conservation budget, which now typically receives less than a million," Wood outlined. "We have less than a million dollars to handle all of the 150 species with our state wildlife action plan."

Indiana is one of the monarch's major breeding grounds, but due to human activity, the pollinator's native habitats have been restricted. In 2017, the most recent year such data is available, a census of Hoosier monarchs tallied about 193,000 butterflies, down from more than 1.2 million in 1997.

Wood pointed out the Recovering America's Wildlife Act wouldn't specifically target Hoosier monarchs for conservation, but she explained helping out the state's other threatened species will provide positive benefits for the butterflies.

"When you restore habitat for a lot of other threatened and endangered species here in the state of Indiana, you are also restoring monarch habitat," Wood noted. "Because a lot of those are just returning natural areas to prairies or grasslands."

Environmental groups petitioned to add the monarch to the federal endangered species list last year. The Fish and Wildlife Service rejected the request, determining the butterfly warrants listing, but there is not enough funding and resources to handle widespread conservation of the pollinator.

Rebeca Quiñonez-Piñón, chief monarch recovery strategist with the National Wildlife Federation, said the monarch's population decline is a good indicator of the health of other pollinator species.

"The monarch butterfly should serve as a wake-up call to the threats that many other pollinators across our country are facing," Quiñonez-Piñón asserted.

The Recovering America's Wildlife Act was introduced into the House of Representatives in April. It has not yet been scheduled for a vote.

Disclosure: National Wildlife Federation contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, Salmon Recovery, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
According to the National Family Farm Coalition, the average U.S. farmland value is now $3,800 per
acre, the highest since the 1970s. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

North Dakota's farming landscape is seeing policy shifts dealing with corporate ownership of agricultural interests. Now, there's fresh debate at the …


Social Issues

play sound

Advocates for unpaid family caregivers in Maine say they'll need continued support beyond the recently passed paid family and medical leave program…

Social Issues

play sound

The Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at the University of Florida and the University of South Florida are filing lawsuits against the deacti…


An estimated 40% of recent college graduates in the U.S. are underemployed, according to Statista. (Adobe Stock)

play sound

A new report from WGU Labs, a nonprofit affiliate of Western Governors University based in Millcreek, Utah, is shedding light on the importance of …

Social Issues

play sound

Many older residents of Washington state are facing strains on their budgets -- and the government programs that could assist them are underused…

The Thrive Indianapolis Annual Report 2022 says Indianapolis has been recognized as a Tree City USA for 35 consecutive years. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Bloomington and Indianapolis are getting some international recognition for the work they're doing to help the environment. The two have been named …

Health and Wellness

play sound

New Mexico activists are tapping today's World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, to announce they'll ask the State Legislature to provide more money for treatment …

play sound

Bipartisan legislation that proposes the installation of solar panels in schools across Pennsylvania awaits a vote in the state Senate. The Solar …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021