Nebraska to grow 125M milkweed stems to save butterflies

Posted at 2:18 PM, Apr 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-29 15:18:13-04

 (AP) - The state of Nebraska has made a goal to keep monarch butterflies and other pollinators off the federal endangered species list by planting 125 million milkweed plants by 2020 and providing incentives for farmers to incorporate pollinator habitat into their land.

The Lincoln Journal Star ( ) reports that the plan was created by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, with input from dozens of organizations and business, some which attended a summit on monarch butterflies in Lincoln last year.

World Wildlife Fund data says that the eastern monarch population has dropped an estimated 90 percent in the past 20 years, mostly because of habitat loss.

Commission biologist Melissa Panella says the federal government will wait until at least 2019 to decide whether to list monarchs as threatened or endangered.