Illinois Outdoors at
RulesIllinois Outdoors at

Prairie State Outdoors Categories

Top Story :: Opinion :: Illinois Outdoor News :: Fishing News :: Hunting News :: Birding News :: Nature Stories :: Miscellaneous News :: Fishing :: Big Fish Fridays :: Big Fish Stories :: State Fishing Reports :: Other Fishing Reports :: Fishing Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Fish :: Fishing Calendar :: Hunting :: Hunting Reports :: Hunting Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Hunt :: Tales from the Timber :: Turkey Tales :: Hunting Calendar :: Big Game Stories :: Nature and Birding :: Birding Bits :: Nature Newsbits :: Critter Corner :: Birding Calendar :: Stargazing :: In the Wild :: Miscellaneous Reports and Shorts :: Links :: Hunting Links :: Birding Links :: Video ::

Big Buck Stories

1960s :: 1980s :: 1991-92 :: 1992-93 :: 1993-94 :: 1994-95 :: 1995-96 :: 1997-98 :: 1998-99 :: 1999-2000 :: 2000-01 :: 2001-02 :: 2003-04 :: 2004-05 :: 2005-06 :: 2006-07 :: 2007-08 :: 2008-09 :: 2009-10 :: 2010-11 :: 2011-12 :: 2012-13 ::


Flathead's Picture of the Week :: Big bucks :: Birdwatching :: Cougars :: Dogs :: Critters :: Fishing :: Asian carp :: Bass :: Catfish :: Crappie :: Ice :: Muskie :: Humor :: Hunting :: Deer :: Ducks :: Geese :: Turkey :: Upland game :: Misc. :: Mushrooms :: Open Blog Thursday :: Picture A Day 2010 :: Plants and trees :: Politics :: Prairie :: Scattershooting :: Tales from the Trail Cams :: Wild Things ::


Scientist: Rare Fla. butterflies may be extinct

April 27, 2013 at 01:06 PM

The Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) — Federal wildlife officials are reviewing a South Florida butterfly survey that concluded five rare species may be gone for good.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hired entomologist Marc Minno to perform the survey. In reports filed late last year, Minno concluded that the Zestos skipper, the rockland Meske's skipper, the Zarucco duskywing, the nickerbean blue and the Bahamian swallowtail had disappeared from the pine forests and seaside jungles of the Florida Keys and southern Miami-Dade County, the only places where some where known to exist.

Minno said he spent six years on a survey that was only supposed to take two. He said neither he nor other butterfly experts ever saw these species in any stage of life, from larvae to adult butterfly.

"I thought I was going to find some at some point so I just took a lot more time," Minno told The Miami Herald ( "They're just not there."

Federal officials said it may be too early to declare the butterflies extinct or at least missing from their only known habitat in Florida. The wildlife service's lead butterfly biologist, Mark Salvato, said some butterfly species have vanished in the past but then made surprise reappearances years later.

For example, the Miami blue butterfly was generally considered extinct after Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida in 1992 until a colony was discovered seven years later in Bahia Honda State Park. That colony disappeared in 2001 but another colony was later found in remote islands off Key West.

The rockland Meske's skipper also went missing for a decade once before, Salvato said.

"It's a very indistinct butterfly. It's not hard to overlook," he said.

None of the species that concerned Minno were being considered for listing as endangered species.

"There is no requirement for us to do anything as far as a formal announcement that it's gone," said Ken Warren, spokesman for wildlife service's South Florida field office in Vero Beach. "At this point, I would say the smart thing for us is to take the recommendation under consideration and give it a little time to see what happens."

Federal officials said they are doing all they can to protect wildlife in a state with one of the longest lists of endangered and threatened species in the nation. They have supported laboratory breeding programs for species such as the Schaus' swallowtail and the Miami blue, and the agency hired Salvato to work on butterfly issues full-time, a position usually reserved for species such as the manatee or the Florida panther.

Salvato and other experts say butterflies face significant, possibly insurmountable challenges in Florida. Development has hastened their decline, and tropical storms and hurricanes can wipe out their remaining habitat. Exotic predators such as green iguanas can eat the plants that shelter their eggs and caterpillars. Pesticides may also be killing larvae.

Breeding programs have helped reinvigorate some butterfly populations in other states, but they haven't worked well in South Florida, and researchers aren't sure why.

"With a lot of these butterflies, we don't necessarily know the ins and outs of them," Salvato said. "There are a whole bunch of factors that could be affecting them. It's hard to find a smoking gun."


Information from: The Miami Herald,

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Comment Area Pool Rules

  1. Read our Terms of Service.
  2. You must be a member. :: Register here :: Log In
  3. Keep it clean.
  4. Stay on topic.
  5. Be civil, honest and accurate.
  6. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Log In

Register as a new member

Next entry: 6-year-old junior duck stamp artist disqualified; new winner named

Previous entry: George Little: Take precautions against tick-borne illnesses

Log Out

RSS & Atom Feeds

Prairie State Outdoors
PSO on Facebook
Promote Your Page Too

News Archives

January 2020
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
Copyright © 2007-2014 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Some Rights Reserved
Original content available for non-commercial use
under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.
Creative Commons