Tough winter good for some endangered species

Capital News Service
LANSING – Heavy snowfall is proving to be helpful for some of Michigan’s endangered species. Karner blue butterflies are federally listed endangered insects that are taking advantage of the protection the heavy snow brings, said Chris Hoving, an adaptation specialist with the DNR in Lansing. “Karner blue butterflies do best when there’s continual deep snow through the whole winter,” he said.  “That’s what we’ve had this winter for the first time in decades. It’s excellent weather for blue butterflies.”

The Karner blue butterfly has been found in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and in western Michigan. In Michigan it used to be common from Lake County to Allegan County, but the butterfly sightings have dropped 50 percent to 90 percent every year for the past four years, said Hoving.