People interested in helping protect the Karner blue butterfly, a federally listed endangered species found in Wisconsin, can attend an upcoming training session in Wild Rose.
The session is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, in the education center conference room of the Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery, N5871 State Highway 22.
The Karner blue is also found in New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Minnesota, which are helping to recover the species, but Wisconsin supports the greatest number of butterflies.
Conservation biologists with the state Department of Natural Resources are looking for assistance with Karner blue butterfly population surveys and vegetation surveys of habitat for the 2012 field season from June through August. Volunteers will be trained to conduct butterfly surveys at recovery sites in central Wisconsin to assess the health of populations and monitor habitat to determine suitability for the butterfly.
“Information obtained from these surveys will help determine how to improve the habitat that is critical for the recovery of this butterfly species,” said Joan Voigt a conservation biologist with the DNR’s Karner blue butterfly recovery team.
The Karner blue is a small butterfly with a wingspan of approximately 1 inch, about the size of a postage stamp. Rare oak savanna and jack pine barrens where wild lupine grows provide habitat. Wild lupine is essential for the Karner blue’s survival, as it is the only host plant the caterpillar will eat. Adults need other nectar plants that bloom later in the summer for food.
Populations have been identified in the White River, Greenwood and Meadow Valley wildlife areas; Mecan River Fishery Area; and Black River State Forest.
Volunteer training includes plant identification in the morning and field work in the afternoon. Volunteers should bring along a bag lunch, beverage and water bottle.
People interested should register by Thursday, May 17, by emailing Voight firstname.lastname@example.org or leaving a message for her at the Wild Rose hatchery at 920-622-3527, ext. 209.