The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has unveiled the artwork for the 2021 Conservation License Plate, a monarch butterfly.
This is the 21st plate in the Conservation License Plate series, which contributes more than $1 million annually to conservation education, scholarships and internships in Arkansas.
Tabbi Kinion, chief of the AGFC’s Education Division, says the selection of the monarch was the perfect match with the AGFC’s recent conservation efforts surrounding northern bobwhites and the habitat they share with pollinator species.
“The monarch is a trademark pollinator species and is a growing concern in conservation," Kinion said. "Species like these migratory butterflies are vital to many plant species that are important for wildlife habitat as well as agriculture. In addition to being an attractive plate, this one really has a strong message relevant to some of our current conservation issues.”
Conservation license plates have provided $17,813,505 to conservation education efforts from Fiscal Years 2001--2020. According to Jami Fisher, AGFC Chief Financial Officer, the program has topped $1 million per year since the 2008 plate (a black bear).
“That’s revenue from new license plate sales and renewals of old plates combined,” Fisher said. “There are still some of the first plates out there that I’ve seen while driving.”
It’s been 2009 since a butterfly graced the artwork of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s annual Conservation License Plate, a trio of Diana fritillaries, and promises to sell out as quickly as the last.
Each plate costs $35; $25 is dedicated to conservation education and the rest goes to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.
The series began with a white-tailed deer in 2000; whitetails also were featured in 2011 and 2018. The 2021 edition shows off a monarch butterfly by AGFC graphic artist Greta James, who also created a red fox for the 2017 plate, a deer in 2018, a northern pintail in 2019 and last year’s Brittany and northern bobwhite.