Study on the effects of prescribed burning on an endangered butterfly species released

The Xerces Society has released a study on the effects of prescribed burning on a threatened butterfly species, the Mardon Skipper (Polites mardon).

Polites mardon Photo: Rich Hatfield, The Xerces Society

The Mardon Skipper occurs in the Pacific Northwest of the United States of America, where it has declined significantly due to the effects of human settlement, livestock grazing, fire suppression and invasion of its grassland habitat by non-native and native plant species. Together with the US Forest Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service the Xerces Society designed a study to analyse the effects of fire on the Mardon Skipper. The results show that this rare species is negatively affected by fires. Even five years after burning was applied the population has not fully recovered.

Read the full report here.

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