The Mayors' Monarch Pledge

Emily Preziotti
Published: 15 October 2020
Last edited: 15 October 2020
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In recent years, monarch butterfly populations have plummeted at an alarming rate. Less than one percent of the western monarch population remains, while the eastern population has fallen by as much as ninety percent. This decline threatens to deprive future generations of the wonder and beauty of the monarch, including its fascinating metamorphosis and 3,000 mile migration to Mexico.


The National Wildlife Federation developed the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge program and oversees its implementation in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation (Canada) and Profauna AC (Mexico) in an effort to combat the species’ declining population. Through this program, mayors and other local and tribal government chief executives take action by signing a pledge to create habitat for the monarch butterfly and pollinators and educate residents about how they can make a difference at home and in their community.


Central America
North America
Scale of implementation
Green spaces (parks, gardens, urban forests)
Urban ecosystem and build environment
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Connectivity / transboundary conservation
Local actors
Outreach & communications
Species management
Other theme
Nature-Based Solutions
Loss of Biodiversity
Ecosystem loss
Sustainable development goals
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 15 – Life on land
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 12: Reducing risk of extinction


United States | Canada, Mexico


Over 600 mayors and local and tribal chief executives across the United States, Canada, and Mexico have signed the pledge since the program’s launch in 2015. Upon signing the pledge, mayors are expected to commit to at least three pledge action items (of 24) to help achieve the program mission. These action items include establishing demonstration gardens, planting milkweed and nectar-producing plants in parks and along roadsides, changing local policy around pesticides and landscaping and supporting community-based native plant sales and monarch festivals.


Of the 610 pledges to date, the program has recognized 240 leaders for committing to implementing at least 8 actions in their community that would help raise awareness of the monarch butterfly and create habitat. The Mayors’ Monarch Pledge program also recognizes signatories who have completed all 24 actions in the program with the designation of Monarch Champion. The program has awarded this special recognition to 11 mayors.


The Mayors’ Monarch Pledge program has demonstrated its importance in the fight against species decline. Participants in the program have engaged over 5.9 million individuals in their efforts and restored over 6,500 acres of monarch and pollinator habitat. Hundreds of mayors across the United States, Canada, and Mexico have pledged to continue their efforts today.

Contributed by

Matthew Koehorst Greenpop, IUCN Urban Alliance

Other contributors

The National Wildlife Federation