Only about an inch (2.5 centimeters) across its wings, The critically endangered Palos Verdes Blue butterflies are flying again over California thanks to several small groups of dedicated scientists and volunteers.
This beautiful little blue butterfly is native to the LA coastal dune areas. It nearly went into oblivion from man eliminating its habitat for housing projects. The male has a bright silvery-blue dorsal wing outlined in a narrow line of black, while the female’s dorsal wing is a more brownish-gray color. Both males and females have gray ventral(under) wings with dark spots surrounded by white rings.
Eighty endangered Palos Verdes Blue butterflies, each bred in captivity, took flight for the first
time. It’s a step toward saving the insect from extinction by installing and maintaining coastal sage scrub habitat The Urban Wildlands Group, a nonprofit organization and Moorpark College.
Another success story created by The UWG for another California critically endangered butterfly that lived on the dunes around the Santa Monica beach areas. Researchers knew this butterfly lived its entire live on one plant. They replaced the nonnative African ice plants on the dunes with the native Lotus scoparius, deerweed, for the reintroduction of the El Segundo Blue butterfly. Much to their surprise the supposedly extinct butterfly returned on its own.
Thanks to The Urban Wildlands Group for saving this species, restoring its habitat, and providing a shining example of ways we can restore ecological in urban areas.
Excerpts courtesy of http://www.urbanwildlands.org/esb.html
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