Final Plan to Guide Recovery of Laguna Mountains Skipper

Press Release
Final Plan to Guide Recovery of Laguna Mountains Skipper

Carlsbad, Calif. – A final plan to help guide recovery efforts for the endangered Laguna Mountains skipper (Pyrgus ruralis lagunae) was released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

These butterflies inhabit large wet mountain meadows and associated forest openings at elevations above 3,900 feet elevation in San Diego County, California.

There are four populations of the species currently found on Palomar Mountain. The butterfly used to occur on Laguna Mountain but has disappeared from that location.

Among the criteria to be considered for delisting, three of the four Palomar Mountain populations must demonstrate resilience – the ability to maintain a functioning population in response to environmental disturbances such as drought; and a fourth population must show reproduction for two years. Off of Palomar Mountain, a population must exist that also demonstrates resilience.

Actions to fulfill delisting criteria will include augmenting or reintroducing the butterfly into areas within its historic range.

The Final Recovery Plan for the Laguna Mountains Skipper is available online at

Listed as endangered in 1997, the species that once thrived on portions of Palomar Mountain and Laguna Mountain suffered dramatic declines due to a variety of impacts including drought, grazing and alteration of fire cycles.

Portions of the Laguna and Palomar mountains were designated as critical habitat for the species in 2006.

Hostplants for Laguna Mountains skipper reproduction are Cleveland’s horkelia and Sticky cinquefoil. Adult butterfly nectar sources include Cleveland’s horkelia and many other species of wildflowers such as Lasthenia (goldfields), Ranunculus (buttercups), and Pentachaeta (Golden-rayed pentachaeta), found in woodlands and meadows.

Recovery Plans are not regulatory documents, and do not require any agency or landowner to implement specific recovery actions. However, recovery of the Laguna Mountains skipper will require a coordinated effort with federal, state and private partners.

If you have questions or need to receive a copy of the final Recovery Plan in a different format, please contact Bradd Bridges, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 250, Carlsbad, CA, 92008; telephone (760) 431–9440.

Additional information about the Laguna Mountains skipper is available on ECOS.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at and download photos from our Flickr page at

                                                                                         - FWS -