Behren’s Silverspot Butterfly

This funded program expired at the end of 2012, but RCLC actively supports this type of conservation program.

In the second year of our project, Redwood Coast Land Conservancy [RCLC], the local land trust conserving the coast between the Navarro and Russian Rivers, is continuing outreach to landowners to identify and help preserve habitat for a local federally-listed endangered species, the Behren’s Silverspot Butterfly.

Preserving habitat for endangered species is critical to their survival, and RCLC will continue to partner with landowners who wish to help with this effort. Property owners who have existing populations or suitable habitat for this species can benefit in many ways by participating in this voluntary program. Behren’s Silverspot Butterflies inhabit coastal terrace prairies that contain the following two basic habitat requirements: 1) early blue violets (Viola adunca), its larval food plant; and 2) nectar plants for adults. The butterfly may also occur in coastal sand dune systems. Funds for the landowner outreach and surveys are provided by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Over the next few months, RCLC will be talking with landowners in Point Arena, Gualala, The Sea Ranch, and surrounding areas, which is prime habitat for the Behren’s Silverspot Butterfly. This species has a limited range along the Mendocino and Sonoma County coast. The aim of RCLC’s efforts is to preserve sufficient habitat to allow the population of this species to recover and possibly be removed from the Endangered Species list.

There are potential financial incentives to landowners for partnering with RCLC and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on this project. For more information, please contact Louisa Morris at (707) 937-6217 or Nancy Trissel at (707) 884-9973.