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Meeting set on butterfly protection

MINOT — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host a public meeting in Minot about the recent proposal to extend Endangered Species Act protection to two butterflies.

The meeting will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Souris Valley Suites, 800 37th Ave. S.W.

The service has proposed the Dakota skipper as a threatened species, with critical habitat. Found in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Canada, the species has experienced a dramatic decline in numbers and no longer occurs on half the sites where previously found.

The Poweshiek skipperling is proposed as endangered, with critical habitat. This butterfly, once found in North Dakota and seven other states, as well as Canada, now occurs only in a few native prairie remnants in Wisconsin and Michigan, and in Manitoba.

Both butterfly species use prairie habitat and are threatened by degradation or changes to their habitat.

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