Conservation and Management of Rare Wetland Butterflies: Strategies for Monitoring, Modeling and Wetland Enhancement in the Mid-Atlantic Region
Fourteen species of wetland-inhabiting butterfly Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) status were surveyed in 2016 and 2017 at multiple sites across four states – Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Survey data was used to evaluate the status of each species in all states where they occurred as well as refine the distribution data for each species across the region. All data points were mapped in ArcGIS and used to model species distribution in terms of both habitat and climate. Data collected prior to 2016 was also evaluated and added to the models, as was data from Delaware that was provided by DE NHP. The results are presented for each species and several examples are explored in greater depth. Best Management Practices (BMPs) were developed for both modeling procedures. A final goal of the project was to initiate habitat enhancement projects in a small number of survey areas in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The results of these projects are discussed as well as the BMPs that were developed for site selection and management.