In Flurry of Motion, Lessons Take Wing

by the Associated Press

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