WILTON -- Habitats of the endangered Karner blue butterflies
will be preserved under a $321,000 grant announced Wednesday
by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The grant will be used
to preserve 75 acres of high-quality Karner blue butterfly habitat
in Albany and Saratoga counties, according to the federal agency.
The grant was presented to state and local officials at a former
Boy Scout camp, part of which is frequented by the tiny butterflies.
The butterfly also is found in the Albany Pine Bush, an environmentally
sensitive ecosystem that is home to many rare species. The butterflies
lay their eggs in the wild blue lupine plant. The larvae feed
almost exclusively on the plant, which limits their range.
Karner blue butterflies were classified as an endangered species
in 1992. The species has a wingspan of about an inch. The male
is distinctively marked with a silvery or dark blue color on
the top of the wings along with a thin, black margin.
Printed in the December 2002 Dinner/Hike Notice