A species that was brought back from the edge of extinction just a few years ago has now gained permanent protection. The Miami blue butterfly’s endangered designation was set to expire at the end of last week, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to formally list the species as endangered. Florida Museum of Natural History Lepidoptera Assistant Curator Jaret Daniels says all the resources which come with the listing are too vital for the small population to lose.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2012/04/DANIELS3.mp3]
in depth: [audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/FPBUTTERFLYQA.mp3]
He says the butterfly has a special importance not just to the ecosystem, but to Florida’s history, because it is found exclusively in the state. The University of Florida has surveyed the population in past years and will now work with other agencies to stabilize the population moving forward.