March 17, 2008

Female upperside of a Martial’s hairstreak basking in the wind at the Blowing Rocks Nature Conservancy Preserve on Jupiter Island, Florida, perhaps the northernmost colony of this uncommon and uncommonly beautiful species. Photograph by Alana Edwards.

Male Martial’s hairstreak. Photographed by Alana Edwards.

Caterpillar and adult of Atala hairstreaks. Photographed by Alana Edwards in her backyard in Boca Raton, Florida.

Chrysalides of the Atala hairstreak, once thought to be extinct, and namesake of Xerces’ erstwhile journal. Now rebounding on ornamental and wild cycads around Miami. Taken on coontie, the native cycad at Fairchild Tropical Gardens. Photo by Thea Linnaea Pyle.

Bob Pyle studying Atala hairstreaks. Photographed by Alana Edwards in her backyard in Boca Raton, Florida.

Bob, palm, and Miami — as close as we needed or wanted to get. Here at Mattheson Hammock, we found the striking larvae and pupae of mangrove skippers (Phocides pygmalion) on red mangroves. Photo by Thea Linnaea Pyle.

Martial’s hairstreak on sea grape. Photographed by Alana Edwards.


 

The Xerces Society » News

Groups seek to protect rare butterfly whose only home is San Juan Island

San Juan Island is the only home to the island marble butterfly. Populations of the species disappeared from Canadian islands in the 1900’s and were rediscovered on San Juan Island in 1998. The species has suffered further decline since rediscovery and faces limited protections.

In the grasslands on south San Juan Island, several patches of bright yellow flowers are fenced off from the rest of the landscape.

The flowering plants are considered weeds by many, but to the island marble butterfly, they’re imperative to the species’ survival. This landscape is the only place the shrinking island marble butterfly population is known to remain, the Skagit Valley Herald reports.

“The populations have constricted pretty dramatically to the point that this is the only home of this butterfly on the Earth,” Ted Thomas of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service said while walking through the American Camp portion of San Juan Island National Historical Park.

For about 15 years, various groups have fought for the butterfly to receive federal Endangered Species Act protection. On April 4, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service deemed the butterfly a candidate species.

That means the species qualifies for protection, but the agency does not have the resources to complete the listing process, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a notice in the Federal Register.

Naming the island marble butterfly a candidate species is not good enough for some.

“I was very surprised by their decision,” said Scott Hoffman Black of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, which has twice sought protection for the butterfly. “There is really one secure population left of this animal on the planet. It is much more endangered than many species that are listed.”

Continue Reading: http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2016/06/groups_seek_to_protect_rare_bu.html#incart_river_home

 

Note: The Xerces Society is not responsible for the content of external sites.  Where trade names appear, no discrimination is intended, and no endorsement by the The Xerces Society is implied.


LA Times: 6 easy ways you can help save the bees

Busy as a bee is an accurate statement.

According to the Xerces Society, a nonprofit organization working to protect bees, 75% of the world’s food crop depends on at least one pollinator, such as the honeybee. (California’s pollinator-dependent crop value is about $12 billion a year.)

That’s a lot riding on the journey of the humble bee and its pollinator friends.

Although bee populations have been pummeled by their share of difficulties in the last few years including habitat loss and the over-use of pesticides, there is something simple you can do to help:  plant bee-friendly plants, says Janet Andrews of Backyard Bees, an Orange County-based group that rescues, relocates and maintains feral honeybees in Southern California.

“It’s truly as simple as that and fun,” she says. “We can easily all do our share.”

Read the whole story here: http://www.latimes.com/home/la-hm-0604-how-to-plant-a-bee-garden-20160531-snap-story.html

 

Note: The Xerces Society is not responsible for the content of external sites.  Where trade names appear, no discrimination is intended, and no endorsement by the The Xerces Society is implied.


What Santa Monica can do about monarch butterfly decline

In 1997 there were more than 1.2 million monarchs overwintering in California and in 2014 only 234,000 – an 81 percent decline from the 1997 high, 48 percent decline from the 18- year average, and just over 10 percent per year. What has caused such a decline?

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, which studies and tracks the monarch populations has several theories; the loss of milkweed breeding habitat, herbicides and pesticides, GMO herbicide resistant crops, development and logging at their over wintering sites, climate change, and extreme weather, such as the multi-year drought California has been experiencing.

The herbicide glyphosate, know commonly as Monsanto’s Round Up, used in both commercial agriculture and in backyard gardening, has lead to the decline of milkweed plants. Neonicotinoids (a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine), which began to be widely used commercially in the 1990’s, are also a factor in the decline of the butterflies. Neonicotinoids have been found in soil and can be taken up into the plant, and are lethal to monarchs.

Read full article here: http://smdp.com/what-santa-monica-can-do-about-monarch-butterfly-decline/155656

 

Note: The Xerces Society is not responsible for the content of external sites.  Where trade names appear, no discrimination is intended, and no endorsement by the The Xerces Society is implied.

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