Overview

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Lundquist, R. 2006. Karner blue butterfly habitat restoration at Whitewater Wildlife Management Area. Final report submitted to the State Wildlife Grants Program. 5 pp. State Wildlife Grants Program final report.

Overview:

Whitewater Wildlife Management Area (WWMA) in southeast Minnesota currently supports the Federally Threatened Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) (KBB). Many of the oak savannas in the WWMA are inundated with honeysuckle, an aggressive exotic species. Such degraded habitat conditions prevent lupine, the sole larval host plant for KBBs, from growing and dispersing. These savannas are also not easily accessible for conducting prescribed burns with current staff and funding levels. In addition to unfavorable habitat conditions, KBB has experienced a dramatic population decline in the main occupied valley during 2003 (11 butterflies in first flight, 2 butterflies second flight – second flight is typically 2-3 times greater than first flight). This decline demonstrates the immediate need for accelerating oak savanna restoration at strategic locations, and where possible, connecting isolated habitats. This restoration effort will enable development of a Karner blue metapopulation and buffer existing populations from stochastic events. We propose to work in close cooperation with Jaime Edwards (MNDNR Regional Nongame Specialist) and Jon Cole (Whitewater WMA Area Manager) to accomplish dry savanna restoration through the use of brush clearing, on-site seed collection and subsequent seeding of native larval host and adult nectar plant species,

 

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Please note that all location information has been removed from this document to protect the Karner blue butterfly populations