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Help the Oregon Silverspot Butterfly by Planting Violets and Nectar Plants on September 22nd, South of Yachats

The Oregon silverspot butterfly once fluttered in meadow patches from Northern California to Washington along the Pacific Coast and Coast Range. Now, due to habitat loss, only a few thousand of these delicate, orange-spotted butterflies remain in the wild.

The Oregon silverspot butterfly depends on sunlit coastal meadows where the early blue violet grows. “These violets are essential to help the recovery of this threatened species,” says Anne Walker, Endangered Species Biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Each caterpillar needs close to 300 violet leaves to become a butterfly,” Walker says. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for the butterfly’s recovery plan, coordinates plantings, and reintroduces captive-reared butterflies into the wild.

To improve butterfly habitat, volunteers will help plant the early blue violet and other nectar plants in a lovely meadow south of Yachats, where captive-reared Oregon silverspot butterflies were released in August. “The goal is for the butterfly to recover so that the population is stable and self-sustaining,” says Walker.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and their partners invite the public, from youth to adults, to come help plant violets and nectar plants for the Oregon silverspot butterfly. “The planting process is simple, and this may be a chance to see this beautiful butterfly in action,” Walker says.

This event is a partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Oregon Zoo, who raises the plants as well as captive-reared butterflies for the project, the U.S. Forest Service, the Nature Conservancy, and the MidCoast Watersheds Council.

Volunteers can participate by signing up for a two-hour shift on Saturday, September 22nd. Plan to meet at the Tenmile Creek pullout, six miles south of Yachats and just northwest of the Tenmile Creek Bridge near Stonefield Beach, at 10:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. for sign-in and orientation. We will then move to the planting site, 1/2 mile North. Bring gloves, water, lunch or snack, and rain gear.

For more information, maps or to RSVP contact Lisa Mulcahy, MidCoast Watersheds Council, at 541-264-0572 or mailto:yaquinawatershedcouncil@gmail.com.

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