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Western Michigan land purchased to restore endangered butterfly habitat

Posted: 7:29 PM, May 19, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-20 17:23:24Z
KarnerBlue  - Martha Hitchiner3.jpg

BROOKS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Land in western Michigan is expected to help restore habitat for an endangered butterfly.

The Michigan Nature Association says 40 acres (16 hectares) has been purchased in Newaygo County's Brooks Township for the Brooks Oak-Pine Barrens Nature Sanctuary. It is part of a Karner blue butterfly mitigation project.

The nonprofit says the butterfly is one of Michigan's rarest. It requires dry-sand prairie and oak-barren habitats which can support wild lupine, a native wildflower. The larvae of the Karner blue butterfly feed exclusively on wild lupine.

Michigan Nature Association conservation director Andrew Bacon said there are no Karner blue butterflies at the new sanctuary, but "it is an excellent candidate for butterfly restoration given the high-quality habitats that are present and the close proximity of existing Karner blue butterfly populations."