Michael Marchand: (603) 271-3016
Heidi Holman: (603) 271-3018
December 12, 2019
CONCORD, NH – Although New Hampshire’s pollinating populations have migrated from the Granite State or are now overwintering, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program is already planning its outreach and field strategies for the coming spring in support of these important insects.
Loss of breeding habitat in the United States and Canada, climate change, and disease have all contributed to the decline of monarch butterflies in North America. Monarchs arrive in New Hampshire each summer to reproduce in milkweed patches. However, during the past two decades, there has been a documented 90% drop in the wintering monarch population in Mexico.
The Department’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program is working to protect monarch butterflies and other pollinators in New Hampshire, and Nongame biologists are in a unique position to implement effective conservation measures for these species, having demonstrated experience restoring other butterflies such as the Karner blue.
“For migrating species such as monarchs, it is critical to think about what happens beyond our state borders, and our biologists provide leadership in representing all of the Northeast states in a national initiative to conserve monarchs,” said Michael Marchand, who supervises the state’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program. “We work to implement priority conservation actions identified in the national Monarch Conservation Implementation Plan, including restoring and protecting monarch habitat on public and private land and training volunteers to participate in citizen science.”
The Nongame Program is seeking private donations to match a national grant that the group was awarded this fall to complement their pollinator and monarch conservation efforts. “Within the scope of this project, we will work with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to identify sections of highways ideal for monarch habitat restoration. Biologists will oversee and monitor restoration efforts including planting and seeding, treatment of invasive plants, and modifying mowing techniques. Our goal is to improve habitat for monarchs and other pollinators along up to 460 miles of highway in New Hampshire,” said Heidi Holman, Wildlife Diversity Biologist at the NH Fish and Game Department.
Donations will help ensure that our biologists have the resources they need beginning in the spring of 2020 to coordinate restoration efforts, survey milkweed and nectar producing plants, as well as monitor the presence of monarchs, bumble bee species, and similar pollinators identified in our Wildlife Action Plan as Species of Greatest Conservation Need.
Show your support by donating online at www.nhfishandgame.com/Donations.aspx.
Please make your tax-deductible contribution by December 31, 2019.
The N.H. Fish and Game Department’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program works to protect over 400 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, as well as thousands of insects and other invertebrates. The program relies in part on private contributions to accomplish its work and to raise matching funds required for state and federal grants. Learn more at www.wildnh.com/nongame.