Skip to main content

Minnesota Zoo trying to save butterfly from extinction

  • Author:
  • Updated:

The little-known Poweshiek skipperling was once plentiful in Minnesota, but experts at the Minnesota Zoo are now trying to save it from extinction, reports Minnesota Public Radio (MPR).

The skipperling has a long and strong history in our state, but the population has dwindled dramatically along with our prairie land. Minnesota once had an estimated 18 million acres of prairie land, where the skipperling lives its whole life, of which less than 1 percent now remains, according to MPR. No Poweshiek skipperlings have been observed in Minnesota since 2007.

But with funds from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, MPR reports the Minnesota Zoo's Prairie Butterfly Conservation Program, is trying to capture female skipperlings where they still exist, such as Wisconsin and Manitoba, and hatch their eggs in the lab.

Erik Runquist, who leads the conservation program, says its not likely the Poweshiek skipperlings will ever thrive like they once did in our state. They'll likely only live in a zoo environment.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports the Poweshiek skipperling has been designated as a candidate for listing as threatened or endangered.

Next Up


FOX 9 promotes Hannah Flood to anchor, adds new reporter

Hannah Flood will co-anchor mornings while Se Kwon joins the team.

Carjacking pursuit in Little Canada

Watch: Suspects drive wrong-way on I-35E, before carjacking separate vehicles

The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office said the suspects are still at large.


St. Paul restaurant damaged in Sunday night fire

The fire department said the fire is considered to be "accidental."

Lake Superior.

MPCA: Minnesota's emissions fell by 23% between 2005 and 2020

Clean energy investments have driven the decline.

Dave Durenberger

Former U.S. Senator for Minnesota Dave Durenberger dies at 88

Durenberger served two terms before his disgraceful exit in the mid-1990s.

Screen Shot 2023-01-31 at 10.17.33 AM

Two new breweries join Minneapolis, St. Paul downtowns

There are new spots in North Loop and Lowertown.

driver's license

'Driver's Licenses For All' bill passes Minnesota House, heads to Senate

It would allow Minnesotans to obtain it without needing proof of legal presence in the U.S.


Lawless Distilling in south Minneapolis abruptly closes its doors

The company stated "the wear and tear of the pandemic has taken its toll."