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Council Resolution 96-04

Council Resolution 96-04

Distribution:  General



Toronto, August 2nd, 1996

Cooperation in the Conservation of the Monarch Butterfly


ACKNOWLEDGING that the migration of the Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a regional ecological phenomenon which merits the common attention of the three Parties;

NOTING that it takes several generations for the Monarch butterfly to return to its Northern habitats and that the overwintering sites are all concentrated along the mountains in the central part of Mexico for the Eastern populations of the Monarch butterfly, and in California for the Western ones;

RECOGNIZING that both the overwintering sites and the migratory sites, as well as a variety of plant species known as milkweed (Asclepias spp.) upon which the Monarch butterfly depends during its migration and development, are necessary for its survival;

ACKNOWLEDGING the need for additional information on the population dynamics of the Monarch butterfly and on the health of the ecosystems of the important migratory sites;

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the Agreement on Environmental Cooperation between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United Mexican States, which recognizes the uniqueness of the Monarch butterfly and its migratory cycle, and under which Canada and Mexico have created an international network of reserves for the Monarch butterfly through the designation of one reserve in Mexico with five sanctuaries, and three reserves in Canada;

ACKNOWLEDGING the interest of the Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management in having the Commission for Environmental Cooperation collaborate, as appropriate, in some of its activities;

HEREBY agrees to:

EXPAND North American cooperative efforts to enhance the conservation of the Monarch butterfly through the development of a North American Monarch Butterfly Conservation Program, with a view to ensuring the viability of the Monarch butterfly populations in North America;

SUPPORT the study of the Monarch butterfly, to increase knowledge of its populations and of the ecosystems upon which they depend during their migratory cycle, through the exchange of scientific information on matters such as: the development of comparable monitoring methodologies, the identification of key monitoring sites, and the mapping and description of key Monarch butterfly sites used during their migratory cycle; and

RECOMMEND that the Parties consider, in the development of a North American Monarch Butterfly Conservation Program, activities which could include the following: establishment of additional protected areas, public education, site management to improve the Monarch butterfly habitat, eco-tourism relating to the Monarch butterfly, development of demonstration projects involving the participation of local communities in their design and implementation, and formation of partnerships and networks of supporting institutions.


(S) Carol M. Browner


Carol M. Browner

Government of the United States of America


(S) Julia Carabias


Julia Carabias

Government of the United Mexican States


(S) Sergio Marchi


Sergio Marchi

Government of Canada

Cooperation in the Conservation of the Monarch Butterfly