ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ A new study says Minnesota is among the top states in the country working to protect declining bee and butterfly populations.

Reports that Missouri State University assistant professor Damon Hall examined every pollinator-related law that was passed by a state legislature between 2000 and 2017. Hall says Minnesota stood alongside California, Connecticut and Vermont as the country's leaders in funding the study of insect pollinator health and conservation.

Hall says Minnesota has set up programs to fund pollinator research and increase pollinator habitat. The state has seen a decline in habitats due to urban development, more intensive corn and soybean production and other issues.

Former Gov. Mark Dayton established a committee in 2016 to oversee protections for pollinators and advise his administration on related policy.