Endangered butterflies reintroduced in Minnesota

Published: Jul. 10, 2019 at 7:51 PM CDT
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A once-endangered part of Minnesota's eco-system is thriving again, thanks to a decade of behind the scenes work.

Earlier Wednesday at a special preserve in Lake Benton, several Dakota Skipper butterflies were released into the wild.

Hundreds will be released over the coming weeks.

This butterfly, which is native to Minnesota, has all but disappeared from the state's prairie areas.

But a specialized breeding program is showing results, enough to allow this release to happen.

"They declined really rapidly going from very common in places like this just a decade ago to gone in a very short period of time," said Erik Runquist, a conservation biologist with the Minnesota Zoo.