A aggregation of wildlife biologists appear added than 1,700 larvae of the endangered Quino checkerspot butterfly into the agrarian in southern San Diego County in an accomplishment to about-face a abatement in the species’ numbers, the San Diego Zoo appear Tuesday.
Biologists from the zoo, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Conservation Biology Institute of Encinitas absorbed 34 pods abounding with larvae to frondescence on Monday in the San Diego Wildlife Refuge, which extends from Jamul to communities in Spring Valley and eastern Chula Vista. The pods assure them from predators until their development is complete.
This was the added annular of captive-rearing and absolution efforts for the butterfly species, which is built-in to California and Arctic Baja California. Aftermost year, added condensate provided an befalling for the acknowledged arising of the endangered collywobbles on the refuge, which encouraged the biologists to do addition release.
“Last year, we had a aerial calculation of 36 alone butterflies, apery the minimum cardinal of adults present,” said John Martin, wildlife biologist for the refuge. “We achievement for the aforementioned success at this new site, added assiduity the citizenry of admirable butterflies.”
The Quino checkerspot was already amid the best frequently apparent collywobbles in Southern California, alignment forth the bank — from aloof south of Ventura County to the civil valleys south of the Tehachapi Mountains and into arctic Baja California.
In contempo years, the breed has accomplished a desperate abatement in numbers, primarily due to accident of its abode from added burghal development. Zoo admiral said altitude change, drought, invasive plants and blaze affectation added threats.
The larvae — anniversary about the admeasurement of a pea or abate — were broadcast in the zoo’s Butterfly Conservation Lab, area entomologists cared for eggs, larvae and adults as allotment of a ancestry program. The USFW is allotment the lab in adjustment to move the breed from “endangered” to “threatened” on the endangered breed list.
Zoo admiral said that if all goes well, the appear Quino checkerspot larvae should complete their development into developed collywobbles from backward February to aboriginal April, area they will augment on ambrosia plants, such as owl’s clover and built-in sunflower species, and carbon for the abutting generation.
— City News Service
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