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Endangered Species Program
Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems
Poweshiek Skipperling (Oarisma poweshiek)
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 – an area that, until recently, contained the vast majority of the surviving populations. It is now known only from Wisconsin, Michigan and Manitoba. During surveys in 2014, the species could be found only at a few sites in a single Michigan county, in very limited numbers at one site in Wisconsin, and in Canada at the single Manitoba site.
Poweshiek Skipperling Conservation
Many conservation partners are working together to prevent extinction of the Poweshiek skipperling. They are focusing on the few remaining sites in Michigan and Manitoba, Canada where the Poweshiek is still present. Several zoos are developing rearing strategies to bolster existing populations.
Saving Minnesota's Prairie Butterflies - Minnesota Zoo's propagation work
Poweshiek Skipperling Head-Start Project - Assiniboine Zoo (Manitoba, Canada)
Rare butterfly rests its wings in unique SE Michigan ecosystem - radio story from WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University (2016)
Stopping Extinction of a Prairie Butterfly - Poweshiek Skipperling Article summarizes plans for a "head start" program.
Searching for Endangered Poweshieks - Article about surveys for Poweshiek skipperlings
Archived Documents and Information Materials from Previous Federal Actions
Last updated: April 15, 2019