Poweshiek skipperlings are small butterflies most often found in remnants of native prairie in Iowa, Minnesota,
North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin and in fens in Michigan. However, this skipperling may have been
extirpated from the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa within the last 10 years.
Photo courtesy of Cale Nordmeyer/Minnesota Zoo
October 23, 2014
The Dakota skipper is now protected as threatened and the Poweshiek skipperling is protected as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today. Both species are butterflies that depend on prairie habitat and have suffered population declines due to loss and degradation of their native grasslands.
Found in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Canada, the Dakota skipper’s numbers have declined dramatically; it no longer occurs on almost 75 percent of the sites where it was previously found.
The Poweshiek skipperling, once found in eight states and Canada, now occurs in only a few native prairie remnants in Wisconsin and Michigan and in Manitoba, Canada. Surveys indicate Poweshiek skipperlings have vanished from about 96 percent of the sites where they once occurred. It is uncertain if there are any existing Poweshiek skipperling populations in Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas.
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Dakota Skipper and Poweshiek Skipperling Listed Under ESA