• Milkweed seed pod in monarch habitat
  • Planting 2016 monarch habitat in Iowa
  • photo of common milkweed seed pod

Recent News

October 22, 2018

The Iowa Monarch Conservation Strategy now includes best management practices to guide Iowans in helping to increase monarch butterfly habitat.

October 17, 2018

Jacob Handel is an undergraduate research assistant with the ISU monarch butterfly research team. Handel, a native of Sycamore, Illinois, is an active member of the ISU Environmental Science Club and the ISU Environmental Education Club. He joined the monarch team in 2018.

October 10, 2018

The eastern population of monarch butterflies has declined significantly during the past 20 years. Habitat restoration that includes planting native milkweed species is critical for monarch conservation. New field research from Iowa State University examines the oviposition preference of female monarch butterflies using nine native species of milkweed.

Upcoming Events

Monarch Conservation

Iowa's role is vital to the monarch butterfly’s recovery! The Iowa Monarch Conservation Strategy is now available to guide efforts. Read a summary of the strategy, and here are five actions you can take. Read the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium's Strategic Goals.

Monarch Sightings

Monarch Butterfly Migration Map Click on the map on the right to see the progress of monarchs migrating north from Mexico.

Learning About Iowa Monarchs

We want our recommendations for monarch habitat improvement to be scientifically sound. Research projects in summer 2017 include:

  • efforts to evaluate nine species of milkweed on plots at Iowa State University research farms
  • a project to discover optimal monarch breeding, forage and roosting habitat characteristics in Iowa's patchy landscape and
  • a survey of milkweed species and monarch occurrence, plant density, and population to establish baseline data.