Sept 22 Event Needs Volunteers to Help Butterflies on Central Oregon Coast
(Yachats, Oregon) – A program from the MidCoast Watersheds Council aims to help an endangered butterfly on the Oregon coast by asking the public to help plant violets in a certain section of the coastline. (Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Because of habitat loss around the central coast and northern California, only a few thousand of the orange-spotted species remain in the wild. At one point, the Oregon silverspot butterfly fluttered unfettered in great numbers from northern California to Washington.
On September 22, the MidCoast Watersheds Council will hold a special event where volunteers will plant violets and nectar plants just south of Yachats, around the Ten Mile Creek area. This will help the recently-released bunches of butterflies in that area.
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,” said 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.”
In August, bundles of captive-reared Oregon silverspot butterflies were released into a meadow between Yachats and Florence.
Now, the group is asking volunteers to come down to the Tenmile Creek pullout, six miles south of Yachats, on September 22, where they will help better the chances for survival of these endangered creatures by improving their habit. Volunteers will help plant the early blue violet and other nectar plants in that meadow.
“The goal is for the butterfly to recover so that the population is stable and self-sustaining,” said Walker.
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. 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.
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,” said Walker.
Volunteers can participate by signing up for a two-hour shift on Saturday, September 22. 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 a.m. or 1 p.m. for sign-in and orientation. Participants will then move to the planting site, 1/2 mile north of the meeting spot. 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:firstname.lastname@example.org.
More images of Ten Mile Creek and Stonefield Beach below:
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