State insect displayed on newest Illinois specialty license plate

The population of the monarch butterfly has reduced by 90 percent in Illinois over the past two decades. (Trish Gussler/Flickr)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – You can show your support for the official Illinois state insect on the front and back of your car.

Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias has unveiled the Monarch butterfly specialty license plate and said part of the $54 fee for the specialty plate will go to a Monarch habitat fund. He says climate change, pesticides, and development threaten the Monarch.

“It’s a charismatic symbol for pollinators which are so important to the state of Illinois,” said Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council. “Pollinators are important to our ecological habitat, they are important to our agricultural systems. Every bite of food we eat – we need to think about pollinators, and we need to make sure that we’re protecting their habitat to protect ourselves.”

Giannoulias said 2,000 drivers must pay a $10 deposit to ensure there is enough demand to make the plates. You can order your plate at or by calling (217) 785-0005.

Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected].


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