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.

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Iowa butterfly could become an endangered species

A skipper in Iowa. Photo by Gordilly, Flickr

A butterfly called the Poweshiek skipper could soon leave Iowa’s ecosystem. The butterfly was originally discovered in Iowa and used to be a common sight around the state.

It is now a candidate for protection via the Endangered Species Act, but many experts believe that it is too late to save their declining population.

The cause of the butterfly’s decline is unknown with theories ranging from climate change to controlled prairie burns.

For more information on the Poweshiek sipper’s history check out The Gazette’s article on their disappearance.