Lev Bely, 13.02.2012 21:56
The endangered El Segundo Blue Butterfly (Euphilotes battoides allyni) population increases in the Dunes Habitat Preserve at Los Angeles International Airport. The Los Angeles Times reports that a lately made survey shows the species population grew 8% since 2010, from 120610 to 125920 butterflies.
Sadly, first few years since it was established the preserve suffered several vandal attacks. Late night disturbers drove over here on all-terrain vehicles, cut the gate lock off and rode through the dunes destroying local plants including the coastal buckwheat endemic Eriogonum cinereum which butterflies vitally need. Since it initially has the fragile structure, the plant was amidst one of the most damaged.
“The present count has increased remarkably from the fewer than 500 El Segundo Blue Butterflies that existed in 1976 when it was among the first insects to be listed as a Federal Endangered Species,” Robert Freeman, environmental services manager for Los Angeles World Airports, said Friday.
LAWA officials said that they launched in 1986 the Dunes Habitat Restoration Project to encourage the coastal buckwheat expansion in El Segundo what's hoped to enhance therefore the E. b. allyni population growth since these butterflies go through their entire life cycle around this plant.
United Press International (UPI), http://www.upi.com, The Los Angeles Times, www.latimes.com
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