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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
Volunteer Group Boosts Karner Blue Butterfly Recovery Program in Wisconsin
Region 3, September 29, 2010
Anna Hess surveying for Karner blue butterflies at Black River State Forest near Black River, Wisconsin. Photo taken by Jodi Shaw, Karner blue butterfly volunteer intern, summer 2010. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)
Anna Hess surveying for Karner blue butterflies at Black River State Forest near Black River, Wisconsin. Photo taken by Jodi Shaw, Karner blue butterfly volunteer intern, summer 2010. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo) - Photo Credit: n/a

Under the leadership and dedication of Tracy Lee Karner (yes, this is really her name!) a volunteer group was initiated in Wisconsin in 2010 to assist with recovery activities for the Karner blue butterfly.  A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)/Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wildlife internship grant was secured by Jodi Shaw hired to help launch the program.  Jodi also worked under the supervision of Dr. Paula Kleintjes-Neff at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. 

Thirteen volunteers worked with DNR staff, biologists from UW-Stevens Point, a private research group at Grantsburg, Anna Hess, a doctoral student doing research, and two USFWS interns.  Including the 13 volunteers, a total of 30 people helped with Karner blue recovery work in Wisconsin in 2010. 

Over the next year, the emerging Karner blue volunteer network hopes to develop a website for communication among volunteers and to involve more Wisconsin citizens at more survey sites.  The Friends of Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area near Grantsburg, a thriving volunteer organization, are a partner on the project.  Their group serves as a model for the network's development with the goal to grow similar networks around each of the eight Karner blue biological recovery zones in Wisconsin. 

The program also intends to explore the possibility of allowing trained citizens to "adopt" specific sites and is considering ways in which the volunteer network could also be a fund raising tool.  Under the dedicated leadership of Tracy Lee Karner, the Karner Blue Butterfly Volunteer Network is anticipated to expand in Wisconsin in coming years-along with populations of Karner blues!

Contact Info: Jennifer Resch, 9208661738, jennifer_resch@fws.gov