Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Kas Dumroese; Tara Luna; Jeremy Pinto; Thomas D. Landis
    Date: 2016
    Source: Natural Areas Journal. 36(4): 499-511.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)

    Related Research Highlights

    Milking Milkweeds for More Monarch Butterfly Habitat


    Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus), other pollinators, and Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are currently the focus of increased conservation efforts. Federal attention on these fauna is encouraging land managers to develop conservation strategies, often without corresponding financial resources. This could foster a myopic approach when allocating resources and setting restoration priorities, and at best, allow for inefficiencies in the usage of land management resources, or, at worst, pit one species (or suite of species, e.g., pollinators) against another (e.g., sage-grouse). Instead, investing holistically by linking conservation of these fauna may provide improved leverage of available resources and more benefit to the landscape. Fortunately, on the western US rangelands, these fauna can all benefit from restoration that increases the abundance and diversity of forbs. Establishing high density islands of outplanted forb seedlings may be a way to expedite restoration. Managers establishing forbs for pollinators (including monarchs) would further increase food availability for greater sage-grouse and vice versa. Adding milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) in appropriate areas to forb mixtures for restoration is warranted because they are excellent nectar sources for pollinators in general and the sole host for monarch larvae in particular. Here, we provide an overview of why forb species are keystone for monarch butterflies, other pollinators, and Greater Sage-Grouse and how seeding and outplanting seedlings of specific forbs are critical to restoration efforts.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Dumroese, R. Kasten; Luna, Tara; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Landis, Thomas D. 2016. Forbs: Foundation for restoration of monarch butterflies, other pollinators, and greater sage-grouse in the western United States. Natural Areas Journal. 36(4): 499-511.


    Centrocercus urophasianus, Danaus plexippus, forbs, native plants, wildflowers

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page