07 Feb '12, 1pm

Crossed Fingers for a Threatened Butterfly

Stuart Weiss The Bay checkerspot butterfly, which conservationists are trying to reintroduce in Edgewood Park in Northern California. The insect is viewed as a poster child for the harmful effects of nitrogen on biodiversity, which could be even more profound than the impacts of global warming. If you stand with your back to the sun and inspect the place on the ground where your shadow is cast, you might spot the tiny larvae of the threatened Bay checkerspot butterfly. “It takes some practice,” said Stuart Weiss, a conservation biologist from the Creekside Center for Earth Observation . “But when you see a little black object that stays black, that’s usually a checkerspot.” Dr. Weiss explained the technique as we hiked through the grasslands of Edgewood Park , a 500-acre nature preserve on the San Francisco peninsula where I have been volunteering. To reintroduce the check...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/07/crossed-fingers...

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