Sand mining companies are destroying this rare Wisconsin butterfly.
“…to kill a Karner blue without a permit violates federal law.
But of the dozens of frac sand companies that have descended upon the area, just one, Unimin, has applied to the state Department of Natural Resources to be able to legally destroy Karner blues in its operations, according to David Lentz, who coordinates the agency’s Karner blue butterfly habitat conservation plan. And only four companies have contacted the agency’s Bureau of Endangered Resources directly.”
“As of mid-January, the DNR had counted about 60 mines, 32 plants either operating or being built, and 20 more proposed mines — more than double the 41 mines or plants the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism counted in mid-July.” – See Wisconsin Watch for a thorough piece on sand frac miners and the Karner Blue.
The Karner blue butterfly habitat conservation plan is the first state-wide habitat conservation plan developed in the nation.From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
Feeding Habitats – Karner blue caterpillars feed only on the leaves of the wild lupine plant. Adults feed on the nectar of flowering plants. This severely restricts where they can survive.
•Range – Karner blue butterflies are found in the northern part of the wild lupine’s range. The butterfly is most widespread in Wisconsin, and can be found in portions of Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, and Ohio. It may also be present in Illinois.