The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will be launching the long-awaited Monarch Butterfly conservation license plate on June 21 that will raise money to help conserve monarch butterflies and other native Texas, non-game, at-risk species.
“The monarch butterfly is a species that is beautiful and iconic in that it is one of nature’s great migration stories,” said John Davis, TPWD’s Wildlife Diversity Program Director. “This species migrates through Texas from Mexico in the spring making its way to the northern extremes of the U.S. and into Canada, then reverses that feat in the fall to overwinter in Mexico. This great migratory story is in jeopardy with the overwintering population experiencing steep declines in the last decade. By adding the monarch to our family of plates, we hope to increase support for this beautiful migration event and through our conservation efforts, brighten the future for this, and many other species.”
The public was invited to vote for their favorite design for the new monarch butterfly license plate last September and the winning design is on the new plate. The design shows one large monarch butterfly and three smaller ones seemingly flying off the plate as if starting their famous spring migration journey up north. The license plate design appeals to those who garden, enjoy wildlife watching, or simply appreciate the beauty of monarch butterflies.
“To save the monarch butterfly and its unique long-distance migration, we must promote initiatives that support the species and its conservation,” said Dr. Rebeca Quiñonez-Piñón, monarch outreach coordinator at the National Wildlife Federation. “At the National Wildlife Federation, we are proud to join the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in the fight to preserve the iconic monarch butterfly and bring awareness to the dangers it is currently facing.”
The TPWD Conservation License Plate Program has raised around $10 million in the last 21 years for wildlife and habitat conservation in Texas, according to program marketing lead, Janis Johnson. The 10 conservation plate designs include a horned lizard, largemouth bass, hummingbird, white-tailed deer, bluebonnet, desert bighorn sheep, and others. These plates benefit Texas fisheries and rivers, state parks, big game research and management, and non-game wildlife species management. All TPWD conservation specialty plates cost $30 a year, with $22 going to TPWD to support various programs and efforts. Plates can be purchased for vehicles, RVs/travel trailers, trailers, and motorcycles.
“TPWD uses conservation license plate funds to conduct research and management activities benefitting the state’s most at-risk species,” Davis added. “The conservation license plate program creates license plates that people enjoy and want to buy while also knowing their plate fee goes to the worthy cause of helping wildlife and plants in Texas.”
Learn more about monarch butterflies and other native, non-game species on the TPWD website. To buy a Monarch Butterfly plate or for more information on TPWD’s conservation license plates, visit www.conservationplate.org.