Archivos de Diario para septiembre 2013

07 de septiembre de 2013

Antioch Dunes National Refuge

I first volunteered out here during the Lange's Metalmark survey back in the early '90's. We walked transects in a long line and, back then, the clickers were constantly going: I think in 1993 we had 1500 Apodemia mormo langei. Today...it's a complete nightmare. Numbers crashed horrifically for this butterfly in the last few years ( federally listed in 1976 when invertebrates were added to the Endangered Species Act) The Refuge has the distinction of being the first piece of land set aside in the United States for the protection of an insect. They are doing all they can with a captive-breeding program down in Southern California. We saw a grand total of...14 metalmarks...this day. Lots of "positive energy"...in the face of disaster. Read "WILD ONES: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America." by Jon Mooallem, a New York Times reporter who wrote exceedly well and objective about the...exercise in futility...that is the ADNR.
It's also home to extraordinary plants as well: Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose, Contra Costa Wallflower. A giant bush called Butterweed was magnificent. 15 species of other butterflies this day. iNaturalist has opened my eyes to everything around me now...I no longer just see butterflies...though I fight the Border Collie instinct. Fun to dig for Legless Lizards, simultaneously excited and repulsed/creeped out I'd actually unearth one.
They collected three females this flight season for breeding. Evidently a part of this sad story is that it's tough to get them to breed in captivity.
The folks that run the place seemed joyous that 20 were released this season. I felt an awful lump in my throat: 80% of all adults are eaten by birds. The mortgage is...underwater...for this creature. I told my friend on the way home, " You might have just seen one of the last flights."

Anotado en 07 de septiembre de 2013 a las 02:16 AM por robberfly robberfly | 8 observaciones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario