Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Volunteers Needed for Karner Blue Survey

Karner Blue Butterfly
Karner Blue Butterfly (photo from the US Forest Service)
from the Manistee National Forest

The Baldwin/White Cloud Ranger District is getting ready to begin its 2009 Karner blue butterfly survey effort! Every year, the Manistee National Forest monitors the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly to determine how far populations are from meeting recovery goals, and to evaluate the effectiveness of different management strategies for restoring Karner blue butterfly habitat.

Between 2006 and 2008, the number of acres the Manistee National Forest monitored for the Karner blue butterfly increased dramatically (298 acres in 2006, 843 acres in 2007, 812 acres in 2008) due to volunteer participation in the 2007 and 2008 survey effort. Volunteer participation in 2007 and 2008 was incredible! Individuals from numerous private and public partner organizations provided 281 volunteer days (~$37,000 in contributed volunteer time).

To those who supported our 2007 and 2008 survey effort, thank you for being so generous with your time! With your support, the Manistee National Forest not only met, but surpassed its monitoring goals. Those participating in the 2007 and 2008 survey effort made an invaluable contribution to conserving the Karner blue butterfly by helping us dramatically improve our understanding of the Karner blue butterfly’s status within the Manistee National Forest, and how to restore suitable Karner blue butterfly habitat. Without good information, our efforts to recover the Karner blue butterfly will fail!

There is still much to learn if we are to prevent this species from disappearing from our local landscape. Volunteers are needed to help conduct Karner blue butterfly surveys between July 6th and July 31st. There are opportunities for individuals of all skill levels to participate. Interested parties can volunteer during weekdays, for a few days, or a week or more. Reimbursement for mileage and housing may be available.

Volunteer assistance is vital to meeting our recovery goals! Please choose to volunteer this year and help conserve a locally endangered species!

Contact Heather Keough for more information
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