Study

Habitat type conservation and restoration for the Karner blue butterfly: A case study from Wisconsin

  • Published source details Kleintjes P.K., Sporrong J.M., Raebel C.A. & Thon S.F. (2003) Habitat type conservation and restoration for the Karner blue butterfly: A case study from Wisconsin. Ecological Restoration, 21, 107-115.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore or create habitat connectivity

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Apply ecological compensation for developments

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Restore or create habitat connectivity

    A controlled, before-and-after study in 1998–2001 in two pine plantations in Wisconsin, USA (Kleintjes et al. 2003) found that connecting patches of lupine Lupinus perennis by felling trees increased the abundance of Karner blue butterfly Lycaeides melissa samuelis. Two–three years after felling began, the peak abundance of Karner blue butterflies (26–49 individuals/year) was higher than before felling (32 individuals/year). On an unmanaged site, the peak abundance was lower two–three years after felling at the managed site (16–20 individuals/year) than before felling (46 individuals/year). Within a 1.5-ha, seven-year-old red pine plantation containing 0.25-ha of lupine Lupinus perennis, >400 trees were removed to create openings and connect corridors between lupine patches. In February and March 1999–2001, patches of trees (20 × 20 and 5 × 20 m) were removed with bow saws, and in autumn 2001 additional patches were felled with chainsaws. A 0.9-ha, six-year-old red pine plantation was not managed. From 1998–2001, Karner blue butterflies were surveyed 5–6 times/year (covering both flight periods) on a 953-m transect through the managed plantation, and an 890-m transect through the unmanaged plantation. The highest number of butterflies counted on a single date in each flight period at each site was used as the abundance for that year.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  2. Apply ecological compensation for developments

    A site comparison study in 1997–2001 in a shrubland in Wisconsin, USA (Kleintjes et al. 2003) reported that an area containing lupine Lupinus perennis transplanted from a development site was used by a similar number of Karner blue butterflies Lycaeides melissa samuelis as an area with no transplanted lupines. Results were not tested for statistical significance. One–four years after restoration, 4–8 Karner blue butterflies/year were recorded in an area with transplanted lupines, compared to 1–8 butterflies/year in an area without transplanted lupines. In June 1997, seventy-five plugs of lupine (0.76-m diameter, 1.2-m-deep) were removed from a construction area and planted in a 5 × 15 grid covering a 324-m2 area cleared of young pine trees. In November 1997, the surrounding 641 m2 was hand-seeded with a dry sand prairie seed mix (40% grasses, 50% non-woody broadleaved plants (forbs), 10% scarified lupine seed) at 22.6 lbs/ha. An adjacent 0.8-ha area, where the topsoil had been temporarily removed, was seeded with the same mix. In October 1999–2001, two 0.2-ha patches in each of the transplanted and seeded areas were cut to a height of 16 cm each year. From 1998–2001, Karner blue butterflies were surveyed 5–6 times/year (covering both flight periods) on a 103-m transect through the transplanted and seeded area, and a 570-m transect through the seeded non-transplanted area. The highest number of butterflies counted on a single date in each flight period at each site was used as the abundance for that year.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 19

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust