Why is a CCAA needed?
The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus plexippus) has experienced drastic population losses over the past 20 years, putting the species in jeopardy. A primary cause of this decline is habitat loss throughout the monarch butterfly’s migratory range, particularly lands containing native flowering plants and its obligate host plant, milkweed (Asclepias species).
The Service is currently evaluating population trends and the needed conservation response to help the monarch butterfly recover to a sustainable level. The Service is expected to make a listing determination in December 2020. In the meantime, concerted conservation efforts are informing the Service’s species status assessment and addressing the widespread population declines of other pollinator species. Preventing the threatened or endangered status, or ultimate loss of the species, requires an “all-hands-on-deck” approach to ensure long-term conservation and enhancement of the monarch butterfly’s habitat.
The agreement represents an important public-private partnership between industry and the Service to encourage voluntary conservation. Early commitments to the CCAA before May 2020 will help inform the Service’s listing determination and encourage widespread adoption of conservation measures across the energy and transportation sectors.
If the agreement was not developed and the monarch butterfly became a Federal listed species, energy and transportation organizations could expect regulatory uncertainty, additional permitting or minimization requirements, and potential project delays. In the event that the USFWS determines that the need for listing is precluded, then the CCAA provides an opportunity for its participants to demonstrate conservation contributions and protect their operations against any potential for future changes or challenges.