On the Radio: Butterfly species sees sharp population decline in Iowa


The Poweshiek Skipper. Photo by Mike Reese, wisconsinbutterflies.org.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s segment discusses the declining population of a once common Iowa butterfly.

Is it too late to save a once common Iowa butterfly?

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

The Poweshiek skipper is a small moth-like butterfly that was discovered in Iowa’s Poweshiek County in 1870. Now due to its plummeting population the Poweshiek skipper is a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Experts are unsure why the butterfly’s population is declining. Theories include climate change, pesticides and prairie burns.

Even if the skipper receives protection, many experts feel that it’s too late to save the species in Iowa.

While the Poweshiek skipper’s days may be numbered in our state, granting it protection could raise awareness and cause other states to take action.

For more information on the Poweshiek skipper, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

I’m Jerry Schnoor from the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.

Thank You.

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