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A monarch butterfly spreads its wings on a sunflower outside John and Darleen Thacker's home in St. Onge in 2014. 

Chris Huber, Journal staff

Public comment is being sought on a draft of a conservation plan expected to help reverse eastern monarch butterfly population declines.

Michigan's Department of Natural Resources says the Mid-America Monarch Conservation Strategy builds on existing efforts by state, federal, and local agencies and private organizations and individuals.

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Monarch butterflies found east of the Rocky Mountains have declined by more than 80 percent over the past 20 years primarily due to habitat loss, including reduced milkweed required for reproduction and fewer nectar plants.

The Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies will receive comments through May 31 on the strategy that covers a 16-state region stretching from Texas to the Upper Midwest. The region encompasses the primary production and migratory habitat areas for the butterflies.

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