Study

Assessing a farmland set-aside conservation program for an endangered butterfly: USDA State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) for the Karner blue butterfly

  • Published source details Neff P.K., Locke C. & Lee-Mader E. (2017) Assessing a farmland set-aside conservation program for an endangered butterfly: USDA State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) for the Karner blue butterfly. Journal of Insect Conservation, 21, 929-941.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide or retain set‐aside areas in farmland

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Pay farmers to cover the costs of conservation measures (as in agri-environment schemes or conservation incentives)

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Provide or retain set‐aside areas in farmland

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2009–2014 in eight farm set-asides and two native prairies in Wisconsin, USA (Kleintjes et al. 2017) found that set-aside fields sown with grasses and non-woody broadleaved plants (forbs) had a similar number of butterflies to native prairies in the first year, but lower numbers after 2–5 years. For the first year after establishment, set-aside areas had a similar number of butterflies (8–52 butterflies/200 m) to native prairie (5–42 butterflies/200 m). However, 2–5 years after establishment, the number of butterflies on set-aside (5–20 butterflies/200 m) was lower than in native prairie (22–68 butterflies/200 m). The total number of species recorded on set-aside (31 species, of which six were not seen on prairies) was similar to prairie sites (35 species, of which 10 were not seen on set-aside). In spring 2009, fields (average 6.8 ha) on eight farms enrolled in a set-aside program were pre-treated with glyphosate and seeded with a mix of six grasses and 11 forbs using a no-till seed drill. They were compared with two native dry sand prairies in a powerline right-of-way, managed to suppress woody vegetation. From May–August 2009–2012, butterflies were surveyed 2–4 times/year on one 200-m transect/farm. In 2013–2014, just four farms and the two native prairies were surveyed twice/year.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  2. Pay farmers to cover the costs of conservation measures (as in agri-environment schemes or conservation incentives)

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2009–2014 in eight farm set-asides and two native prairies in Wisconsin, USA (Kleintjes et al. 2017) found that set-aside fields which landowners were paid to sow with grasses and non-woody broadleaved plants (forbs) had a similar number of butterflies to native prairies in the first year, but lower numbers after 2–5 years. For the first year after establishment, set-aside areas had a similar number of butterflies (8–52 butterflies/200 m) to native prairie (5–42 butterflies/200 m). However, 2–5 years after establishment, the number of butterflies on set-aside (5–20 butterflies/200 m) was lower than in native prairie (22–68 butterflies/200 m). The total number of species recorded on set-aside (31 species, of which six were not seen on prairies) was similar to prairie sites (35 species, of which 10 were not seen on set-aside). In spring 2009, fields (average 6.8 ha) on eight farms enrolled in a set-aside program were pre-treated with glyphosate and seeded with a mix of six grasses and 11 forbs using a no-till seed drill. They were compared with two native dry sand prairies in a powerline right-of-way, managed to suppress woody vegetation. From May–August 2009–2012, butterflies were surveyed 2–4 times/year on one 200-m transect/farm. In 2013–2014, just four farms and the two native prairies were surveyed twice/year.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 19

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust