Minnesota Just Helped Save A Rare Endangered Wildlife Species
The folks at the Minnesota Zoo just reported some amazing news in their quest to help an endangered species from disappearing for good.
If you're an animal lover (like I am), then this is one of those stories you can actually feel good about. The team over at the Minnesota Zoo just had something happen that hasn't happened in over 15 years, and it concerned an endangered species here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
I'm guessing you probably haven't heard of the Poweshiek Skipperling (that'd be the Oarisma Poweshiek if you're being all scientific about it). It's a small butterfly that's endangered here in Minnesota, so much so that the Minnesota Zoo says there are only several hundred left in the wild!
The Minnesota Zoo says this species of butterfly was once fairly common across western and southern Minnesota. But these butterflies rely on prairie habitat, and as Minnesota lost nearly 99 percent of its native tallgrass prairie over the years, many species-- like the Poweshiek Skipperling-- were lost with it.
In fact, the Zoo says that the Poweshiek Skipperling is 'functionally extinct in the wild,' meaning that unless they get help, they're in real danger of disappearing altogether. Luckily, though, Team Butterfly from the Minnesota Zoo just did something to help these endangered butterflies that hasn't been done since 2008.
As the Zoo posted on its Facebook page recently:
Zoo biologists recorded the successful breeding and egg-laying of this female Poweshiek Skipperling. This is the first known breeding event in all of Minnesota for this species in the last 15 years! Managed breeding is critical for their survival as there may be as few as 100 wild individuals left in the world.
So, yay! It's a start, right? I can't say I've ever seen a Poweshiek Skipperling, but I'm hoping the Minnesota Zoo and others can help save it from extinction-- because that's a LONG time, right? You can get more on the effort to help save this endangered species HERE.
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