Endangered Species

NY: Endangered Karner blue butterfly exceeds recovery goals

The Karner blue butterfly has exceeded recovery goals in the rare New York habitat where it was discovered by Russian author Vladimir Nabokov in the 1940s.

Wildlife officials announced Thursday that the butterfly on the federal endangered species list is doing well in the sandy pine barrens west of Albany. The population has grown from less than 1,000 to more than 15,000 in 10 years.

Recovery efforts focus on managing habitat through controlled burning, forest thinning and planting lupine flowers, as well as captive breeding and release of the insects.

Nabokov, a butterfly expert, played a key role in establishing the relationship between the Karner blue and the pine barrens, where it feeds exclusively on blue lupine.

The butterfly is also making a comeback through recovery efforts in Ohio and New Hampshire.