Monarchs in the Rough on golf courses

Publicado: 26 Noviembre 2020
Última edición: 03 Noviembre 2021
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Through the Monarchs in the Rough program, golf courses are encouraged to develop monarch butterfly and overall pollinator habitat. The iconic and beloved butterfly, renowned for its spectacular long-distance migration, is threatened by loss of wild milkweed – its sole larval food plant – resulting in a 90% population decline over the last two decades. The program supports and encourages the expansion of minimally-managed green spaces outside of playing areas on golf courses. The conversion of unused areas in the rough into spaces with native vegetation including milkweed has a number of ecological, economic and aesthetic benefits. By joining Monarchs in the Rough, golf courses can do their part to prevent further monarch losses while gaining recognition as an environmental leader and connecting with their communities in new ways.


América del Norte
Scale of implementation
Connective infrastructure, networks and corridors
Ecosistema urbano
Áreas verdes (parques, jardines, bosque urbano)
Ciencia y investigación
Conectividad / conservación transfronteriza
Especies y la extinción
Institucionalización de la biodiversidad
Planificaión urbana
Degradación de tierras y bosques
Pérdida de la biodiversidad
Pérdida de ecosistemas
Sustainable development goals
ODS 11 - Ciudades y comunidades sostenibles
ODS 15 - Vida de ecosistemas terrestres
Aichi targets
Meta 1: Aumento de la sensibilization sobre la biodiversidad
Meta 2: Valores de biodiversidad integrados
Meta 15: Restauración de ecosistemas y resiliencia


United States


The Monarchs in the Rough program provides golf course managers with regionally-appropriate milkweed and wildflower seeds to convert one acre of land into pollinator habitat. Reduced management in the forms of water, fertilizer and pesticide applications helps maintain habitat quality while also reducing costs for venues owners and operators. Golfers enjoy experiencing natural habitats, particularly when signage is provided to explain the benefits of alternative management actions for wildlife, as well as materials signalling the importance a course places on sustainability and biodiversity protection, can have reputational benefits. The United States Golf Association collects and publishes positive examples and best practice guidelines for managers that help them take appropriate actions and avoid problems encountered by other managers when implementing changes to support nature. Audubon International informs scientific guidelines and recognises success by designating golf courses Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries, if they meet a set of environmental management criteria. Certification can come with economic benefits: research has found a price premium for golf courses certified as wildlife sanctuaries.

Contribuido por

Imagen de amelie.claessens_39301

Amelie Claessens International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Other contributors

Giulia Carbone
Eric Ndayishimiye
San Francisco Estuary Institute
Robin Grossinger
San Francisco Estuary Institute
Megan Wheeler
San Francisco Estuary Institute
Erica Spotswood
San Francisco Estuary Institute
Russell Galt