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Protection Proposed for Rare Mt. Charleston Butterfly | Environment

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Protection Proposed for Rare Mt. Charleston Butterfly
Protection Proposed for Rare Mt. Charleston Butterfly


A rare butterfly found only on Mt. Charleston might get protection under the Endangered Species Act, according to information released Wednesday by the Center for Biological Diversity.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed protection today for the Mount Charleston blue butterfly. The decision was the result of a 2011 settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity requiring the Service to speed protection decisions. 

“Protection for the beautiful Mount Charleston blue butterfly comes in the nick of time,” said Tierra Curry, a conservation biologist at the Center. “With very few of the butterflies seen in recent years, their best shot at recovery is the Endangered Species Act, which has prevented the extinction of 99 percent of the plants and animals under its protection.”

The butterfly is found only in the upper elevations of Mt. Charleston. The butterfly’s lives in open forests with little vegetation and exposed mineral soil. Fuel reduction projects in the area have degraded the butterfly’s habitat, according to CBD officials.

The proposal sets in motion a review period in which more input will be sought.