Regal Fritillary

Mark Walker MWalker at
Mon Aug 21 16:58:50 EDT 2000

Norbert wrote:

> Agreed, well mostly :-)  The only thing I would add is that in some
> ecosystems it is not enough to leave the habitat alone.  Rather, some
> instigated natural disturbance or emulation of natural 
> disturbance is needed
> to prevent natural succession from changing the habitat into 
> a condition
> that is no longer suitable for the species of interest. 

Yep.  Also agreed.  And I would assume that the time constant associated
with prairie habitat succession is significantly shorter than with other
habitats (like woodlands, etc.).  Perhaps this is why the butterfly appears
to rely on migration (which I didn't know).  If Leps like the Karner Blue
were so equipped, they might not be as patchy as they are.

Still, I think my point was that this bug - at least IMHO - is not
necessarily as fragile as we assume it to be.  It's native habitat is all
but non-existent in the States - even in those areas where it still appears
to thrive.  Given enough room - even enough to allow for habitat succession
along with the natural disturbances that shape them - and my bet is that
this butterfly would thrive again.

Perhaps I'm asking for too much?  You think the whole state of Nebraska
would be interested in relocating to Iowa so we can turn it into a National
Grassland?  Probably not.  It wouldn't be good for NCAA College Football (go

Just kidding.  I'm a die hard Trojan.

Mark Walker.

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