Target: Paul Severns, Oregon State University
Goal: Praise scientist for his work reintroducing an endangered butterfly species
The Fender’s blue butterfly was once considered extinct, but was rediscovered in the late 1980s. Not long after its rediscovery, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) designated the species as endangered. Paul Severns, a researcher at Oregon State University, needs to be praised for working with the FWS to help conserve this species by reestablishing a healthy Fender’s blue butterfly population in Oregon’s Finley National Wildlife Refuge.
According to the FWS, the Fender’s blue butterfly has historically inhabited prairie land throughout Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Unfortunately, over the years much of this land has “been converted to agriculture, subjected to fire suppression, invaded by non-native species, or otherwise developed.” Losing so much natural habitat is a challenge to the survival of any species. Fender’s faces an additional challenge in that most of its native habitats are early seral prairies, meaning they need “natural or human-induced disturbance for their survival,” or, in other words, without serious conservation efforts these prairies would all eventually turn into woodlands in which the butterflies could not survive.
Aided by grant money from the FWS, Paul Severns recently released nearly 200 Fender’s blue butterflies into Oregon’s Finley National Wildlife Refuge. The health and progress of the butterflies will be closely monitored. Some experts believe that this new population of Fender’s should stabilize within a few years. Since Finley National Wildlife Refuge is also under federal protection, the butterfly’s future looks good.
Please sign the petition below to let Mr. Severns know that you appreciate all the hard work he has done to ensure that the endangered Fender’s blue butterfly will once again thrive in Oregon’s Willamette Valley prairies.
Dear Mr. Severns,
I was heartened to see that you had recently released nearly 200 endangered Fender’s blue butterflies into Oregon’s Finley National Wildlife Refuge. This species has very little habitat in which to live, seeing as it only exists in parts of Oregon and since much of its natural habitat has been lost to agriculture, development and invasive species. Serious conservation efforts are needed to ensure this butterfly’s survival. Your work, aided by grant funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, should go a long way towards helping conserve the Fender’s, for which I, and many other wildlife conservationists, are extremely grateful.
Thank you for your passionate and dedicated work. Please keep it up as you monitor the progress and the health of this new population of Fender’s blue butterfly.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Cheryl Schultz, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at Wikimedia Commons