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US military base is home for rare butterfly

05-07-2017 02:00 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream


US military base is home for rare butterfly | My Indian Dream

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There is a reason why a rare butterfly is thriving in the US military bases

The US military comprises of giant war machines and tiny rare butterflies that are flourishing there, thanks to the tailor-made vegetation at these bases that allow them to proliferate.

Robyn Niver, an endangered species biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that a rare butterfly called the frosted elfin which has a wingspan of  1-inch (2.5 centimeters) has made several defense installations their home because of the way the military manages open spaces.

The little brown butterfly has been found to thrive at Westover Air Reserve Base, Camp Edwards in Massachusetts; Fort McCoy in Wisconsin; Fort Bragg in North Carolina; and the New Hampshire State Military Reservation.

The frosted elfin’s caterpillar feeds on plants like the wild blue lupine and indigo and these plants are allowed to grow at the bases as they are of the proper height.

Keeping the safety of the massive C5 military transport aircraft that are parked at the base, proper vegetation control is important. If the vegetation is too short, geese and gulls will flock increasing the risk of aircraft strikes.

If the vegetation grows too tall, then it will attract turkeys, deer, and coyotes. Plants like lupine and indigo are just the right height and prove to be the common thread between the military base and the butterflies.

 



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