Study

Reintroduction of regal fritillary (Speyeria idalia) to a restored prairie

  • Published source details Shepherd S. & Debinski D.M. (2005) Reintroduction of regal fritillary (Speyeria idalia) to a restored prairie. Ecological Restoration, 23, 244-250.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore or create grassland/savannas

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Replant native vegetation

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Translocate to re-establish populations in known or believed former range

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Restore or create grassland/savannas

    A study in 1998–2004 on former cropland in Iowa, USA (Shepherd & Debinski 2005) reported that restored prairie supported a translocated regal fritillary Speyeria idalia population. In 2001, the first year after translocation to a restored prairie, no butterflies were seen, but in 2002, one year after a second release, 84 adults were recorded. In the following two years, 11–12 fritillaries were observed in planted violet plots and other areas on 1–2 days/year. On 15 days in 2004, between 1–23 fritillaries were seen/day. Within a 2,083-ha reserve, 1,250 ha of former cropland were restored to tallgrass prairie (no further detail provided). The remaining land contained scattered remnant prairie patches. In 1998 and 1999, prairie violets Viola pedatifida were planted in five plots at each of four sites across the reserve. Each plot contained 99 violets planted in a grid (9 × 11 m), 1 m apart. In July 2000 and August–September 2001, seven female fritillaries were caught and brought to the restored prairie. Fritillaries were placed in mesh cages (0.6 × 0.6 m or 1.8 × 1.8 m) directly over violet plants, and provided with nectar from cut flowers and moved to new violet plants each day. In June–August 2001–2004, butterflies were surveyed or opportunistically recorded across the site.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  2. Replant native vegetation

    A study in 1998–2004 on a restored prairie in Iowa, USA (Shepherd & Debinski 2005) reported that replanted native prairie violets Viola pedatifida supported a translocated regal fritillary Speyeria idalia population. In 2001, the first year after translocation to a prairie where violets had been planted, no butterflies were seen, but in 2002, one year after a second release, 84 adults were recorded. In the following two years, 11–12 fritillaries were observed in planted violet plots and other areas on 1–2 days/year. On 15 days in 2004, between 1–23 fritillaries were seen/day. Three–four years after planting, 73% of violets survived, and nine new plants had grown. In 1998 and 1999, prairie violets were planted at four sites in a 2,083-ha reserve of restored and remnant tallgrass prairie. At each site, five plots of 99 violets were planted in a grid (9 × 11 m), 1 m apart. From 1998–2002, the survival of violets was checked each spring. In July 2000 and August–September 2001, seven female fritillaries were caught and brought to the restored prairie. Fritillaries were placed in mesh cages (0.6 × 0.6 m or 1.8 × 1.8 m) directly over violet plants, and provided with nectar from cut flowers and moved to new violet plants each day. In June–August 2001–2004, butterflies were surveyed or opportunistically recorded across the site.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  3. Translocate to re-establish populations in known or believed former range

    A study in 2000–2004 on a restored prairie in Iowa, USA (Shepherd & Debinski 2005) reported that translocated regal fritillary Speyeria idalia survived and bred for three years.  In 2001, the first year after translocation, no butterflies were seen at the release site, but in 2002, one year after a second release, 84 adults were recorded. In the following two years, 11–12 fritillaries were observed in planted violet plots and other areas on 1–2 days/year. On 15 days in 2004, between 1–23 fritillaries were seen/day. In 1998 and 1999, prairie violets Viola pedatifida were planted at four sites in a 2,083-ha reserve of restored and remnant tallgrass prairie. At each site, five plots of 99 violets were planted in a grid (9 × 11 m), 1 m apart. In July 2000 and August–September 2001, seven female fritillaries were caught in two prairies (118–500 ha), placed in a cooler, and transported to the restored prairie within two hours. Fritillaries were placed in mesh cages (0.6 × 0.6 m or 1.8 × 1.8 m) directly over violet plants, and provided with nectar from cut flowers and moved to new violet plants each day. Translocated females survived for 3–20 days. In June–August 2001–2004, butterflies were surveyed or opportunistically recorded across the site.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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