The Karner Blue (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) butterfly is a federally endangered species. Small populations exist in 6 states; Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, and New Hampshire. Conservation efforts are under way in these states to increase populations by restoring Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis), the host plant for the Karner Blue butterfly.
The natural habitat of Wild Lupine is dry, sandy-loamy soil. It needs full sun to grow well. Before habitat restorations began, Wild Lupine populations were decreasing due to fire suppression, mowing, and human development.
Gary Haase, manager at Kitty Todd Preserve, directs the conservation effort in Ohio to reintroduce the Karner Blue butterfly into their natural habitat. He is extremely knowledgeable and has been involved since the first release in 1998. For additional information on the Karner Blue, contact Gary at [email protected] (Photo Credit: Mitch Magdich, The Toledo Zoo)