Karner blues and fire

No life stage of the endangered Karner blue butterfly can survive fire, yet it only lives in habitats that burn frequently.

By Neil Gifford, Conservation Director

These islands of lupine, the only food for Karner blue caterpillars, within and surrounding a May 30th prescribed fire help show how that works. Fires burn in a mosaic of severity, ranging from not burned to severely burned. Butterflies in the islands will recolonize the lupine that springs up after the fire. Lupine rising out of the ashes is more nutritious, as a result the females that eat it will produce more eggs. 

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