Monarch butterflies are counting on you! Sign up for a monarch license plate decal! This decal will help fund the planting of roadside habitat for monarchs in Illinois.
You can apply for your decal in three easy steps:
Download, print, and fill the form out, including “Monarch Roadside Habitat” for “Name of Specialty Plate Being Requested.” Send the form in to the Secretary of State’s office with a $10 check.
As soon as 2000 people sign up, a decal will be created and mailed to you. Please let us know you completed the form by filling out this survey so we can track sign ups and make sure the Secretary of State has your information.
The beautiful orange and black butterfly is a familiar garden visitor in the Midwest, but it may not be part of our future.
The monarch butterfly is a beloved insect in the U.S. and the state insect of Illinois. The monarch’s incredible annual migration of nearly three thousand miles (over several life cycles) between Canada and Mexico is an unrivaled natural phenomenon. Due to its location, Illinois happens to be one of the most important places along the monarch’s annual two-way migration. Therefore, providing habitat and protections for monarchs in Illinois is essential to their continued survival.
The monarch is in trouble. In the past twenty years, 173 million acres of its midwestern breeding habitat has been lost, the equivalent to the state of Texas, converted to cropland for the growing ethanol industry, scoured of milkweed from farm fields by herbicide usage and plowed under for buildings for an expanding human population.
As the breeding areas and habitat along the migration route have disappeared, the population in 2014 sank to as low as 90% below historic averages.
There are challenges at the monarch wintering site in Mexico as well. Illegal logging is reducing the size of the oyamel fir forests which provide the right temperature and moisture conditions during the winter. Extreme weather events in both the summer and winter territories are contributing to the precipitous population decline.
The situation has reached a point where the Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety have petitioned U.S. Fish and Wildlife for endangered species designation for the monarch butterfly. An agreement has been reached that a decision will be made by June 2019.
Please consider purchasing a decal and help us save this iconic species!