10 Oct '11, 5am

Department of Defense Spends Thousands to Save a Butterfly

Normally, common sense might suggest that living on a military base's artillery range would reduce an animal's hopes of long-term survival -- but for one threatened butterfly species, the opposite is true. Taylor's Checkerspot butterflies are listed as an endangered species in their native Washington State, so when thousands of them took up residence on Joint Base Lewis McChord near Tacoma, the insects earned the support of one of the most deep-pocketed agencies on Earth: the US Department of Defense. As it turns out, for the DOD to continue weapons practice on the base without interruption, it'd have to do its damnedest to make sure the fluttering little butterflies make a comeback. According to biologists, checkerspot butterflies may have seen their populations plummet to near-extinction due to habitat loss, but ironically the fragile insects have found safe haven in the...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/10/department-of-def...

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