Florida butterfly species extinct


This video is called Florida butterflies, skippers and moths.

From Wildlife Extra:

Two butterflies declared extinct in USA

Zestos skipper butterfly & Rockland grass skipper butterfly declared extinct

June 2013. Officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have declared two species of butterfly as officially extinct. Both butterflies were previously found in South Florida, but have not been seen for 9 and 13 years respectively, despite extensive searches.

Zestos skipper butterfly – Not seen since 2004

The Zestos skipper butterfly has not been seen since 2004. The Zestos skipper was last recorded in the Florida Keys in 2004, but hadn’t been seen for several years before that on the mainland. The Zestos skipper wasn’t thought to be Endangered as it was widespread throughout the Bahamas. However it was recently discovered that the Zestos skipper in Florida was a distinct subspecies; sadly it was probably already extinct when that discovery was made.

The Zestos skipper occurs commonly throughout the Bahamas and eastern Antilles. Based on this information, the Zestos skipper was not considered imperiled, globally, and therefore the butterfly was never considered for listing as endangered in the United States. It was only recently discovered that the Zestos skipper in Florida was in fact a distinct subspecies, found nowhere else. Before conservation agencies could move to protect it, it was gone. Similarly, the rockland grass skipper was thought to be extinct in the 1980s. However, it was briefly rediscovered on Big Pine Key in 1999, but disappeared again before recovery actions could be implemented.

Rockland grass skipper butterfly – Not seen since 2000

The Rockland grass skipper was last seen in the Everglades National Park in 2000.

Causes of decline

US Wildlife Service scientists believe the main cause of decline and disappearance of butterflies in southern Florida is loss, modification and fragmentation, and in some instances inconsistent management, of the natural habitats that butterflies and their larval hostplants depend on. Other possible factors include: exotic predatory ants, small population size, poaching, use of pesticides for mosquito control and the influence of climate change.

This is called Video Essay: Saving the Miami Blue Butterfly.

Miami Blue butterfly going the same way?

Scientists also believe the pattern of the disappearance in the Zestos skipper is similar to that of the now critically endangered Miami Blue butterfly. Climate change is an acute threat to the Miami blue, as all sites within Key West National Wildlife Refuge known to currently support Miami blues appear to be losing habitat and hostplants due to the effects of sea level rise. The Service has funded surveys and research of Miami blue populations within Key West National Wildlife Refuge. In the near future, the Service, along with IBWG members will develop a recovery plan for the Miami blue.

See also here.

Britain: butterflies are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature and new research has revealed that when summer weather turns bad the Silver-spotted skipper battles for survival: here.

Gone, But Not Forgotten: Species We’ve Lost in the Last 10 Years: here.

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4 thoughts on “Florida butterfly species extinct

  1. Pingback: Butterfly and bumblebee on flower, video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Mallow skipper butterfly back in the Netherlands | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: British butterfly population trends | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Emerald shiner fish research in New York, USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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