Conservation and Management of Rare Wetland Butterflies: Strategies for Monitoring, Modeling and Wetland Enhancement in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Fourteen species of wetland-inhabiting butterfly species of Greatest Coservation Need (SGCN) status were surveyed in 2016 and 2017 at multiple sites across four states - Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Survery data was used to evaluate the status of each species in all states where they occurred as well as refine the distribution data for each species across the region. All data points were mapped in ArcGIS and used to model species distribution in terms of both habitat and climate. The results are presented for each species and several examples are explored in greater depth. Best Management Practices (BMPs) were developed for both modeling procedures. A final goal of the project was to intiate habitat enhancement projects in a small number of survey areas in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The results of these projects are still being reviewed by the various NHPs that participated in the projects. Some species will be reassessed as to their conservation status of inclusion as SGCN. Modeling outputs will be used to guide further survey work and prioritize sites for enhancement and protection.

Original Proposal: 

Project Leader

Name: Jen Selfridge

Title: Invertebrate Ecologist

Organization: Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program

Other Principal Investigators

Name: Betsy Leppo

Title: Invertebrate Zoologist

Organization: Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Name: Susan Olcott

Title: Regional Wildlife Diversity Biologist

Organization: West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

Name: Damien Ossi

Title: Fish and Wildlife Biologist

Organization: Fisheries and Wildlife Division, District of Columbia Department of the Environment

Name: Robert Somes

Title: Wildlife Biologist

Organization: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Name: Christopher Tracey

Title: Conservation Planning Coordinator

Organization: Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy