Butterfly habitat to be restored in Newaygo County

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

The Michigan Nature Association says 40 acres (16 hectares) have 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.”

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