Tag Archive: Michigan Endangered Species

Feb 23 2016

Poweshiek Skipperling

Have fun solving the skipperling maze!

Have fun solving the skipperling maze!

The Poweshiek Skipperling range once stretched along the northern prairies from the Dakotas through Manitoba to the southern part of Michigan’s lower peninsula. The prairies are greatly reduced in size from their original status – there is less than 1 percent of viable prairie land left. What does remain is often separated by developed land or is itself of degraded quality. These conditions make it hard for the Poweshiek Skipperling and other species to survive.

This species helps to illustrate how fire management is not a one size fits all solution. Wildlife experts use fire to discourage non-native woody plants and cool season grasses; however, the skipperling larvae are destroyed by fire. Therefore controlled and infrequent burns are better than large scale burns.

The skipperling caterpillar changes into a butterfly between June and August. The adults generally choose the slender spike rush as the host plant where females lay eggs singly. These eggs hatch by late summer and the larvae develop through early fall. Caterpillars hibernate through the winter and continue developing the following spring.

Original artwork is copyright 2014 by Rob Hughes.  Drawn with india ink on 9″ x 12″ Bristol white vellum surface paper.  Made in Michigan with quality materials.

Download the Poweshiek Skipperling maze here!

Here is the solution for the Poweshiek Skipperling maze.

Permanent link to this article: http://heretoamaze.com/2016/02/23/poweshiek-skipperling/

Jan 19 2016

Karner Blue Butterfly

Endangered fire dependent creature.

Endangered fire dependent creature.

Try to solve the Karner Blue Butterfly maze.

For much of the 20th century forest management techniques overlooked the need various species (such as the Karner Blue Butterfly) have on fire to ensure their survival.  An area cleared by fire (or by mowing near large buildings or along power line corridors) creates a habitat suitable for various creatures to survive.  The endangered Karner Blue Butterfly depends on a plant, the Wild Blue Lupine, that only grows in open sandy areas in pine and oak savannas.  Without the leaves of this plant for sustenance the butterfly’s larvae die.  For the Karner Blue to thrive there must be dense stands of Wild Blue Lupine.  Wildfires once ensured blankets of Wild Blue Lupine would sprout up in burned out areas.

Pine and oak forests stretch far to the south, but the Karner Blue Butterfly only occurs in the northern parts of these forests – from New York to Minnesota.  Michigan is one of the strongholds for the Karner Blue Butterfly, and in northern Michigan they can be found in the Huron-Munistee National Forest.  In cold climates with adequate snowfall the eggs survive the winter.  The snow protects them from dehydration and freezing.  In warmer climates the eggs either freeze or dry out and cannot hatch in the spring.  The butterfly can be found as far south as Ohio and Indiana.

Original artwork is copyright 2014 by Rob Hughes.  Drawn with india ink on 9″ x 12″ Bristol white vellum surface paper.  Made in Michigan with quality materials.

Download the Karner Blue Butterfly here.

Here is the solution for the Karner Blue Butterfly maze.

Permanent link to this article: http://heretoamaze.com/2016/01/19/karner-blue-butterfly/