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Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly: Top 5 Animals Threatened by Humans

August 11, 2016

metalmark butterfly

The Metalmark Butterfly

Many endangered species are endemics, meaning they naturally have very small ranges and populations sizes, and usually require very particular soil, vegetation or climate conditions to survive. These species are especially vulnerable to human encroachment. Among them is Lange’s metalmark butterfly, protected as endangered in 1976.

Lange’s metalmark lives only in the Antioch Dunes at the southern end of San Francisco Bay. This unique ecosystem harbored many unique species, and many species have gone extinct as its dunes were hauled away in massive increments. After the 1906 fires, the city of San Francisco was rebuilt using brick-building material removed from the dunes.

Lange’s metalmark is one of the most endangered species in the United States. It declined from some 250,000 in historic times to just 154 in 1986. It improved a bit, but then declined to just 45 butterflies in 2006. Today the species is still on the knife edge of extinction, with about 150 individuals remaining.

metalmark butterfly

LEGAL SETTLEMENT BRINGS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS
“For too long pollution from power plants has threatened local communities and the butterfly’s survival,” said Plater. “It’s time for our energy infrastructure to become part of the solution. We call on all of the power plants polluting Antioch and Oakley to contribute to a solution.”

SAVING LANGE’S METALMARK BUTTERFLY

A legal settlement announced today requires a proposed natural gas-fired power plant to provide $2 million to mitigate pollution in low-income communities in Antioch and Oakley, Calif., as well as to mitigate harm to endangered species at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, the last home of the critically imperiled Lange’s metalmark butterfly.

The settlement is the result of the efforts of a coalition of conservation and community advocates led by the Wild Equity Institute, Communities for a Better Environment and the Center for Biological Diversity. “The Lange’s metalmark butterfly is a Bay Area jewel that’s already way too close to extinction,” said Jonathan Evans, toxics and endangered species campaign director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This agreement will help throw a lifeline to one of the world’s most endangered species.”

“For too long pollution from power plants has threatened local communities and the butterfly’s survival,” said Plater. “It’s time for our energy infrastructure to become part of the solution. We call on all of the power plants polluting Antioch and Oakley to contribute to a solution.”

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