Partner Spotlight: Xerces Society
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation (Xerces Society) is a conservation non-profit organization that has been protecting “the natural world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats” since its founding in 1971. Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) have been partnering with the Xerces Society for many years, relying on their vast technical expertise on insects and conservation to implement projects with research-based strategies that have the best chance of success.
Most recently, RCDs and the Xerces Society have been working together on monarch conservation efforts in response to the alarming 2018 Thanksgiving Count for the Western Monarch Butterfly, which revealed an estimated 99.4% decline of the overwintering population as compared the 1980s. For example, some RCDs will be taking advantage of free monarch habitat planting kits provided by the Xerces Society. The kits will be used by RCDs to create or enhance monarch breeding habitat on working lands or natural lands, with the voluntary consent and participation of landowners or land managers. Xerces Society staff provide technical advice to help plan for pollinator conservation, and they have been instrumental in coordinating monarch conservation efforts between RCDs and other organizations through their Western Monarch Call to Action Plan.
Many native pollinators face threats to their populations, and RCDs, the Xerces Society, and other like-minded partners are working together to implement a coordinated, multi-stakeholder approach to make a tangible difference. The RCD network looks forward to continuing to collaborate with the Xerces Society on monarch and other invertebrate conservation efforts.