Silverspot Seminar

May 20, 2021 - 3:30 PM
HMSC Research Seminar Series

Oregon Silverspot, at the Nestucca National Wildlife Refuge.\Photo courtesy of USFWS.

The Hatfield Marine Science Center continues with its regular research seminar series online.  On Thursday, May 20, 3:30 p.m., the seminar is “Nestucca Bay NWR:  Research and Restoration Intertwine to Save an Imperiled Butterfly.”  (NWR is National Wildlife Refuge.)  The event is free and open to all.

  The speakers are Rebecca Chuck, Deputy Project Leader, Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex; David Thomson, Restoration Ecologist, USFWS Newport Field Office; and Sam Derrenbacher, Wildlife Biologist, USFWS Newport Field Office.  As they describe their topic: 

The Oregon Silverspot Butterfly (OSB) was federally listed as a threatened species in 1980. Although its historic range followed the coastline from Lake Earl, California to Westport, Washington, the current population inhabits less than 100 acres in just 4 locations in Oregon. Today, many federal, state and private land partners work together to restore habitat and help this imperiled butterfly recover from the brink of extinction. The steps to restoring the imperiled butterfly’s habitat seem simple – secure the habitat, manage non-native and native plants to increase appropriate adult nectar and larval host plants, create the microclimate conditions the butterfly needs to successfully complete its life cycle, release the species into the prepared habitat, and Voila! Restoration. But, after 40 years of work we can confidently say it’s not that simple.

There are still many unknowns about the life history of OSB and its habitat requirements – from what the larvae need for survival, to adult fitness in the face of climate change. And we are still figuring out how to feasibly manage the habitats they require. Without an understanding of these questions, OSB recovery is impossible. Current research has begun to answer a few of these questions including (1) Adult behaviors and dispersal distances, (2) Female oviposition preference habitat, (3) Larval survival and micro-habitat requirements. With each of these life history questions answered, we can begin to understand the habitat quality and connectivity necessary for each life stage to ensure that our land management efforts are successful for the butterfly’s recovery.

For the live broadcast of the virtual Thursday Seminar, go here.

Password: 972587 or call +1-971-247-1195 US Meeting ID: 945 5573 1151