Habitat restoration for lupine and specialist butterflies

  • Published source details Pfitsch W.A. & Williams E.H. (2009) Habitat restoration for lupine and specialist butterflies. Restoration Ecology, 17, 226-233.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove or control non-native or problematic plants

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Remove or control non-native or problematic plants

    A randomized, controlled, before-and-after study in 2001–2006 in a heathland in New York, USA (Pfitsch & Williams 2009) found that areas where eastern white pine Pinus strobus had been removed were used more by frosted elfin butterflies Callophrys irus. In areas where eastern white pine trees were removed, the number of elfins seen after removal (11% of all butterflies recorded) was higher than before removal (3% of all butterflies), but there was no significant change in areas where trees were not removed (before: 12% of all butterflies; after: 8% of all butterflies). After tree removal, there were 12 male territories on a 1-ha dune, compared to nine territories before removal. In May 2002, seventeen white pines growing over lupine plants were selected and, in January 2003, eight were randomly removed. From April–June 2001–2006, frosted elfins were surveyed along a 12-minute transect 10–15 times/year. The location of each butterfly, and each male territory, was mapped, and the number within 3 m of the removed and not removed trees was counted.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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