The Urban Wildlands Group

The Urban Wildlands Group is dedicated to the protection of species, habitats, and ecological processes in urban and urbanizing areas.

 

 

Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly

 

The federally endangered Palos Verdes blue butterfly (Glaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensisPVB Image by Travis Longcore) survives only on a few small habitats on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The species was presumed extinct for a decade until Dr. Rudi Mattoni and colleagues discovered a population persisting at the Defense Fuel Support Point in San Pedro in 1994. From 1994 until 2001, Dr. Mattoni directed a captive breeding, restoration, and monitoring program there, first administered by the UCLA Department of Geography and then the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy. He directed the restoration of habitat and reintroduction of the species at the PVPLC Chandler Preserve, but it is uncertain if the buterfly has persisted there. Since 2002, The Urban Wildlands Group has conducted the captive rearing program, first under Dr. Mattoni's direction, now lead by Moorpark College professor Jana Johnson.

The population in the wild is stable at around 300 individuals. The captive rearing in 2008 was successful, especially at the secondary rearing site at the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program's Zoo at Moorpark College, where students worked thousands of hours tending captive adults and larvae. The captive stock of pupae is now over 4,000 individuals, many of which should be released into habitats within the former range of the species in Spring 2008, in partnership with willing landowners.

Video showing rearing process from 2002 season (13 minutes; 50 MB).

News and Updates

March 2010 -- Captive-bred butterflies have now been released at restored habitat at Deane Dana Friendship Park in San Pedro (see this Los Angeles Times article). This release is covered by a Safe Harbor Agreement between the county and the US Fish and Wildlife Service that commits to maintaining habitat for the butterfly for 30 years.

At the Linden H. Chandler Preserve, an adult butterfly that must have been the offspring of last year's release was observed, and additional releases were made, including this one covered by CBS Evening News.

March 20, 2009 -- Captive-bred Palos Verdes blue butterflies were released at the Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro and at the Linden H. Chandler Preserve, owned by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy. Butterflies were reared by students at Moorpark College under the direction of UWG contract biologist and Moorpark professor Jana Johnson. The release was covered by the local media and recognized the special contribution of the Department of Defense to the ongoing recovery of the Palos Verdes blue butterfly. See the Daily Breeze, Seal Beach Daily, NBC TV, and KCLU.

March 18, 2008 -- Palos Verdes blue butterflies are flying and the Los Angeles Times covers a release of adults into the wild by biologist Jana Johnson and the outstanding student workers at Moorpark College.

July 16, 2007 -- Jana Johnson's work with captive rearing Palos Verdes blue butterfly continues to be covered in the media. Click here to link to story and video.

March 26, 2007 -- UWG contract biologist Jana Johnson's work with the Palos Verdes blue butterfly was profiled in the Los Angeles Times by reporter Deborah Schoch and photographer Bob Chamberlin. An update on the collaboration with Moorpark College was also published this week in the Los Angeles Daily News. The program also featured prominently in the Defense Logistic Agency newsletter.

February 16, 2007 -- More news coverage of our secondary rearing site for Palos Verdes blue butterfly at America's Teaching Zoo.

January 13, 2007 -- UWG contract biologist Jana Johnson has established a cooperative effort with America's Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College to rear Palos Verdes blue butterfly. This second rearing site provides valuable insurance against any unexpected problems at the main site at the Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro. Read about it in the Daily News.

Support Captive Rearing of the Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly

The Palos Verdes blue butterfly has new hope for recovery in its native habitat because of the extraodinary efforts of Jana Johnson and the students of the Butterfly Project at Moorpark College. Raising over 4,000 butterflies takes thousands of hours of careful attention. You can support students in this valuable by directing a donation specifically to this project through the PayPal link below. Your donation will go directly to support students raising endangered butterflies at Moorpark College.

Scientific Articles

Longcore, T., R. Mattoni, and A. Mattoni. 2005. Salvage of individual pupae as a mitigation measure for loss of Palos Verdes blue butterfly habitat. Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society 59(1):10–11.

Mattoni, R., T. Longcore, Z. Krenova, and A. Lipman. 2003. Mass rearing of the endangered Palos Verdes blue butterfly (Glaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensis: Lycaenidae). Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 37:55-67.

Longcore, T., R. Mattoni, C. Zonneveld, and J. Bruggeman. 2003. INsect Count Analyzer: a tool to assess responses of butterflies to habitat restoration. Ecological Restoration 21(1). See http://www.urbanwildlands.org/INCA/.

Mattoni, R. and N. Powers. 2000. The Palos Verdes blue: an update. Endangered Species Bulletin 15(6):18-19.

Mattoni, R. 1995. Rediscovery of the endangered Palos Verdes blue butterfly, Glaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensis Perkins and Emmel. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera. (html text here)

Reports

Longcore, T., and K. H. Osborne. 2011. Final Report for 2011 Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly Adult Surveys on Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro, California. Los Angeles: The Urban Wildlands Group (Defense Logistics Agency Agreement # N62473-11-2-2304) (October 15, 2011).

Johnson, J., A. Stangeland, D. Amoroso, A. Romero, J. VanKempen, T. Wilson, S. Foster, T. Hampton, J. Eccles, K. Virun, R. Minzer, B. Coomes, J. Mauck, D. Flannery, B. MacQuiddy, M. McNeil, M. Wagner and T. Longcore, 2010. Final Report for Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly Year 2010 Captive Rearing on Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro, California and The Butterfly Project, Moorpark, California. Los Angeles: The Urban Wildlands Group (Defense Logistics Agency Agreement # N62473-08-LT-R0011). 21 pp. (February 15, 2011).

Longcore, T., and K. Osborne. Final Report for 2010 Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly Adult Surveys on Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro, California. Los Angeles: The Urban Wildlands Group (Defense Logistics Agency Agreement # N62473-08-LT-R0011). 37 pp. (November 10, 2010).

Johnson, J., A. Lansing, M. Azemon, D. Renner, J. VanKempen, D. Amoroso, S. Foster, A. Romero, B. MacQuiddy, M.J. Handley and T. Longcore, Final Report for Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly Year 2009 Captive Rearing on Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro, California and The Butterfly Project, Moorpark, California. The Urban Wildlands Group (Defense Logistics Agency Agreement # N62473-08-LT-R0011), Los Angeles. 24 pp. (February 22, 2010).

Longcore, T., K. Osborne, and A. Dalkey. Final Report for 2009 Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly Adult Surveys on Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro, California.The Urban Wildlands Group ((Defense Logistics Agency Agreement # N62473-08-LT-R0011), Los Angeles. 18 pp. (February 22, 2010).

Johnson, J. J., A. Lansing, A. Clause, D. Renner, C. Behringer, R. Lewis and T. Longcore. Final Re-port for Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly Year 2008 Captive Rearing on Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro, California and The Butterfly Project, Moorpark, California. The Urban Wildlands Group (De-fense Logistics Agency Agreement # N62473-08-LT-R0011), Los Angeles, 18 pp. (July 1, 2009).

Longcore, T. 2008. Final Report for 2008 Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly Adult Surveys on Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro, California. Los Angeles: The Urban Wildlands Group, 16 pp. (Defense Logistics Agency Agreement # N62473-08-LT-R0011), 16 pp.

Longcore, T. and R. S. Snelling. 2007. Final Report for Ant Surveys on Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro, California. Los Angeles: The Urban Wildlands Group (NAVFAC SW Cooperative Agreement N68711-06-LT-R0011), 14 pp.

Johnson, J., A. Clause, A. Lansing, C. Behringer and T. Longcore. 2008. Final Report for Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly Year 2007 Captive Rearing at Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro, California and The Butterfly Project, Moorpark, California. Los Angeles: The Urban Wildlands Group (NAVFAC SW Cooperative Agreement # N68711-04-LT-A0017). 28 pp.

Longcore, T. 2007. Final Report for 2007 Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly Adult Surveys on Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro, California. Los Angeles: The Urban Wildlands Group (NAVFAC SW Cooperative Agreement # N68711-07-LT-R0011). 12 pp.

Longcore, T. 2007. Final report for 2006 Palos Verdes blue butterfly adult surveys on Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro, California. Los Angeles: The Urban Wildlands Group (Defense Logistics Agency Agreement # N68711-06-LT-R0011). 13 pp.

Longcore, T. 2004. Strategic plan for captive rearing and reintroduction of Palos Verdes blue butterfly. Los Angeles: The Urban Wildlands Group (Defense Logistics Agency Agreement # N68711-03-LT-C3003). 11 pp.

Mattoni, R., J. Sprute, and T. Longcore. 2004. Final report for Palos Verdes blue butterfly year 2004 captive rearing on Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro, California. Los Angeles, The Urban Wildlands Group (Defense Logistics Agency Agreement # N68711-04-LT-A0017), 7 pp.

Mattoni, R., J. Sprute, and T. Longcore. 2003. Final report for Palos Verdes blue butterfly year 2003 captive rearing on Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro, California. Los Angeles, The Urban Wildlands Group (Defense Logistics Agency Agreement # N68711-03-LT-C3003), 9 pp.

Longcore, T., and R. Mattoni. 2003. Final Report for 2003 Palos Verdes blue butterfly adult surveys on Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro, California. Los Angeles, The Urban Wildlands Group (Defense Logistics Agency Agreement # N68711-03-LT-C3003), 12 pp.

Longcore, T., R. Mattoni, A. Lipman, Z. Krenova, and C. Rich. 2002. Final report for Palos Verdes blue butterfly year 2002 captive rearing on Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro, California. Los Angeles, The Urban Wildlands Group (Defense Logistics Agency Agreement # N68711-02-LT-00010), 18 pp.

Longcore, T., R. Mattoni, and A. Mattoni.2003. Final report for Palos Verdes blue butterfly pupal salvage on Palos Verdes and San Pedro housing, San Pedro, California. Los Angeles, The Urban Wildlands Group (Department of the Navy Letter Agreement # N68711-02-LT-C3001), 9 pp.

Mattoni, R. (ed.) 2002. Status and trends: habitat restoration and the endangered Palos Verdes blue butterfly at the Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro, California, 1994–2001. Los Angeles: The Urban Wildlands Group. 81 pp.

Lipman, A., T. Longcore, T. Mattoni, and Y.L. Zhang. 1999. Habitat Evaluation and Reintroduction Planning for the Endangered Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly. Los Angeles: UCLA Department of Geography. Final Technical Report to California Department of Fish and Game. 44 pp.

 

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