Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Partnering to save endangered animals: New Hampshire

We're so excited about the new interactive map highlighting endangered species efforts in each state across the nation. Each day we'll feature a state, partner and animal. Subscribe on the right to keep up!

Happy Pollinator Week! This week, we have a chance to learn more and recognize the little, hard-working animals that pollinate the majority of our flowering plants and crops.

Within this group of hummingbirds, bats, bees, beetles, butterflies and flies is the Karner blue butterfly, a small endangered butterfly found in oak savannas and pine barrens from eastern Minnesota to the Atlantic seaboard.

Now found only in pockets across its historical range, the Karner blue has faced diminishing levels of its unique habitat from human activity to suppress wildfire, cultivate forests and develop communities. Thanks to a noteworthy partnership leading a captive breeding and habitat restoration program, the Karner blue butterfly has gone from local extinction in New Hampshire to releases numbering in the thousands. Read the rest of this story.

Adult Karner blue butterflies live one to two weeks. Credit: USFWS/Joel Trick
Here are some other stories featured on New Hampshire’s page:
  • Jesup's milk-vetch: This extremely rare member of the bean family occurs only at three sites along a 15-mile stretch of the Connecticut River in New Hampshire and Vermont. 
  • Northeastern bulrush: This type of sedge is found in ponds, wet depressions, or small sinkholes within wetlands complexes in hilly areas.
  • Canada lynx: Breeding populations of this secretive cat were confirmed in New Hampshire just this winter.  
  • Atlantic Coast piping plover: Find out how human activities affect this dainty, sand-colored shorebird on both its breeding and wintering grounds.  
  • New England cottontail: This native rabbit’s population has plummeted over the last several decades, and though it’s disappeared from 86 percent of its historical range, the rabbit can be found in New Hampshire.

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