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Butterflies listed as endangered

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Two butterflies, the Dakota skipper and the Poweshiek skipperling, have been proposed for protection under the Endangered Species Act due to steep population declines, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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The Service has proposed the Dakota skipper as a threatened species. Found in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Canada, the Dakota skipper has experienced a dramatic decline in numbers and no longer occurs on half the sites where previously found.

The Poweshiek skipperling is proposed as endangered. This butterfly, once found in eight states and Canada, now occurs only in a few native prairie remnants in Wisconsin and Michigan, and in Manitoba, Canada. Surveys indicate that Poweshiek skipperlings are gone from nearly 90 percent of the sites where they were previously found.

Both butterfly species use prairie habitat and are threatened by degradation or changes to their habitat.

The Service’s proposal to list the two butterflies, proposal for critical habitat and proposed special rule appear in the Oct. 24 Federal Register. The public may comment on the proposal through Dec. 23.

You may submit comments at www.regulations.gov or to Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.

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