Indiana Dunes project to help endangered butterfly

A sign announcing a habitat enhancement project for the endangered Schaus’ swallowtail butterfly shown on Elliott Key, Monday, June 9, 2014, in Biscayne National Park, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

PORTER, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the Indiana Dunes State Park will begin restoring a black oak savanna they share this summer to save the homes of the endangered Karner blue butterfly and other native species.

Myriad native wildflowers and grasses call the black oak savanna home, but invasive species have moved into the area along Lake Michigan and pushed out native plants, including wild blue lupine. The lupine is the sole food source for the Karner blue butterfly.

Indiana Dunes State Park manager Brandt Baughman tells The Times of Munster ( ) the park hopes lupine will grow back and support a habitat for the butterfly.

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the Karner blue butterfly’s population has fallen 99 percent, mostly in the last 15 years.


Information from: The Times,


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