Bahia Honda Miami Blues Disappear

kwadlow@keynoter.com Miami Blue, a rare butterfly about the size of a nickel, was added to Florida's endangered species list in 2003.

The Florida KeysNet papers are reporting what those of us who get NABA’s American Butterflies read in the latest issue:  The Bahia Honda State Park colony of Miami blues apparently has collapsed.  Dennis Olle wrote in AB that introduced iguanas that feed on the blues’ caterpillar host are at least partly to blame.  Excerpts from KeysNet follow; you can also read the full article Rare Keys Butterfly Disappears Again.

Believed to be extinct, the Miami Blue butterfly seemed to miraculously spring back to life in 1999 when an amateur enthusiast discovered a colony in Bahia Honda State Park.

Now that seminal Lower Keys colony appears to have vanished, despite more than a decade of studies, emergency declarations and a University of Florida breeding program.

“This species has been on the radar for more than 10 years but the bureaucracy has been fiddling while the Miami Blue flickers out,” said Dennis Olle of Miami.

Olle, an attorney who serves as a board member of the North American Butterfly Association and president of NABA’s Miami Blue Chapter, authored an article, “Who Killed the Miami Blues?”, for the current issue of “American Butterflies” magazine.

“Obviously we’re frustrated,” Olle said. “The government spent a lot of time on meetings and reports; it’s a very unwieldy process. But everybody seemed to take their eye off the ball when it comes to actually keeping the Miami Blue protected.” — excerpted from an article by Kevin Wadlow on KeysNet.com.

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