Connectivity of Poweshiek skipperling habitat in the Manitoba Tall- Grass Prairie Preserve (MTGPP)
Most tall-grass prairie in Canada has been lost over the last century, leaving only a handful of small, disconnected patches of habitat. The Poweshiek skipperling – a small prairie butterfly - has become critically endangered as a result. The Manitoba Tall-Grass Prairie Preserve (MTGPP) is home to the last surviving Canadian population of the species. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) uses grazing, mowing, and prescribed burning to manage the prairie, but Poweshiek butterflies are sensitive to these activities, and the presence of roads or croplands can prevent them from finding their way back into their habitat after a disturbance. It is therefore important to make sure their habitat remains as open and connected as possible. We want to determine which types of management best promote habitat connectivity, and where connectivity needs to be improved so that NCC staff can implementmanagement activities accordingly.