Grassland butterfly conservation and headstarting program

Grasslands are one of the most endangered habitat in North America. In Manitoba, over 90% has been lost in the last 100 years and with it a suite of prairie adapted species. The Poweshiek skipperling is one such species which in recent years has plummeted in abundance for unknown reasons. Less than 500 individuals remain in the wild and the grasslands of southeastern Manitoba represent one of the species’ last strongholds. The Assiniboine Park Zoo is partnering with other organizations to establish a headstart program for this endangered butterfly in hope to stabilize its population in the province. This project will develop the needed expertise and novel methodologies to raise and release this butterfly back into suitable grasslands.

Conner Savage-Watson
Faculty Supervisor: 
Richard Westwood
Partner University: