- Associated Press - Monday, June 6, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Efforts are underway in Illinois to find a way to increase the monarch butterfly habitat in the state.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says it’s hosting an online survey this month and having a conservation meeting in Springfield in September. Experts say the monarch population has declined by as much as 90 percent over the last 20 years. Federal officials have identified Illinois as a high-priority area for conservation work.

The agency says it’s partnering with agriculture, transportation, conservation and education representatives. They’re also working with utilities.

IDNR Natural Heritage Division chief Ann Holtrop says the first goal is to identify any ongoing monarch conservation efforts. The survey will help with that. It can be found online and should be completed by June 17.

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