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Wednesday, May 31, 2023
May 31, 2023

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WDFW seeks comment on review for mardon kipper butterflies


CENTRALIA — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public input on a draft periodic status review for the mardon skipper, a species of butterfly classified as endangered by the state.

The public comment period is open through June 19.

Recent review of the butterfly’s population in Washington led biologists to recommend maintaining the mardon skipper’s status as an endangered species in the state, according to a news release from WDFW.

“Although additional populations of the butterfly were documented in the southern Washington Cascades since state listing, populations of the mardon skipper in the South Puget Sound prairie have seriously declined,” said Taylor Cotten, WDFW conservation assessment section manager. “Habitat loss and degradation, invasive species and climate change are some of the threats to the butterfly’s survival.”

The draft periodic status review for mardon skipper is now available on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/02417. The public can submit written comments on the document via email to tandepubliccom@dfw.wa.gov or by mail to Taylor Cotten, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, P.O. Box 43141, Olympia, WA 98504-3200.

“Following the public comment period, we will brief the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission on the species’ status and public input received,” Cotten said.

The commission will then vote to decide on maintaining the butterfly’s endangered status. The group is scheduled to consider this topic in summer 2023.

The mardon skipper is a small, tawny-orange butterfly with a stout, hairy body. It is found at five small, geographically disjunct areas in Washington, Oregon and California. In Washington, the insect inhabits prairie habitats in the South Puget Sound region and meadows in the southeastern Cascade Mountain Range.