Military base among last habitat for butterflies

May 23, 2014

An undeveloped stretch of native prairie in south Puget Sound offers one of the few habitats in the world where a two-inch colorful checkered butterfly thrives. It also happens to be the main artillery impact range for Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The Army's Stryker combat brigade and other troops regularly practice military maneuvers and live-fire training on acres of scenic, open grassland where a small population of Taylor's checkerspot butterfly feed on nectar of native blooms, mate and lay eggs.

The butterfly's listing as a federal endangered species last fall has the potential to cause major restrictions on training.

That has the Army working to boost the numbers of butterflies, once found at more than 70 sites in Puget Sound, Oregon and British Columbia but are now reduced to 14 sites.

Explore further: US considers endangered status for butterfly found in Michigan

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Butterfly larvae mimic queen ant to avoid detection

Apr 09, 2014

Parasitic butterfly larvae may mimic ants' acoustic signals to aid in the infiltration of their host colonies, according to results published April 9, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Marco Sala f ...

Butterfly experiment a prairie masterpiece in the making

Sep 28, 2009

After waiting for a warm, summery day, biologist Doug Taron and a handful of colleagues fanned out through a thousand acres of restored prairie this month, stroking plants with delicate paintbrushes in hopes of adding a little ...

Recommended for you

22 elephants poached in Mozambique in two weeks

12 hours ago

Poachers slaughtered 22 elephants in Mozambique in the first two weeks of September, environmentalists said Monday, warning that killing for ivory by organised syndicates was being carried out on an "industrialised" ...

Pakistan releases smuggled turtles into the wild

17 hours ago

Pakistani officials and environmentalists on Monday released some 200 rare turtles into the River Indus after the reptiles were retrieved from a southwestern Chinese town where they were seized by customs ...

Big science from small insects

22 hours ago

Anniversaries are often a time to look back. But after taking stock of the past, it can be just as important to look to the future.

Dwindling wind may tip predator-prey balance

Sep 19, 2014

Bent and tossed by the wind, a field of soybean plants presents a challenge for an Asian lady beetle on the hunt for aphids. But what if the air—and the soybeans—were still?

User comments : 0