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Feds want to designate two butterfly types as endangered species

Poweshiek Skipperling Butterfly (Photo by: U.S. Geological Survey).
Poweshiek Skipperling Butterfly (Photo by: U.S. Geological Survey).

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - Federal wildlife officials want to designate two types of butterflies as endangered or threatened species, because their populations are rapidly declining. 

The Poweshiek skipperling used to thrive in eight states and Canada -- but now, it's found only in native prairies in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Manitoba Canada.  

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants approval to designate 63 properties where the Poweshiek butterfly would be protected. They range from 23 acres to almost 3,000 acres in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, and the Dakotas. 

Also, the agency wants to protect the Dakota skipper butterfly, found in the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Canada. Their numbers have dropped to the point in which they occupy only half the sites where they used to live.  

The Fish and Wildlife Service plans to release its proposal in Thursday's Federal Register. 

Five public meetings have been scheduled in the subject, including one in Wisconsin. That's set for the evening of November 14th, starting at 4:30 p.m. at the public library at Berlin in Green Lake County.