- Associated Press - Sunday, March 9, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Some elementary school students in Concord, N.H. are playing a key role in an effort to protect the state butterfly.

The students are preparing food for the Karner blue butterfly, once considered extinct in the state.

The Karner’s population has rebounded after over a decade of carefully monitoring them, restoring their specialized habitat, and enlisting schoolchildren to help grow and plant lupines for them.

Biologists and wildlife officials are visiting elementary schools on Wednesday and Thursday to help students with the plants. The lupines will be transplanted to an area of pine barrens in Concord.

“As a result of these efforts and other habitat restoration and captive breeding initiatives on the pine barrens, Karners are now breeding in the wild,” said Marilyn Wyzga, an educator with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. She said this is the 15th year of a partnership effort between the school district, the state and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The butterfly itself was discovered in the 1940s in Karner, N.Y., by Russian author and lepidopterist Vladimir Nabokov. It was once seen in 13 states, but those sightings have dropped by about half due to a loss of habitat.


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