MORRISTOWN, N.J., Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The North American Butterfly Association (NABA) has launched the Butterfly Habitat Network (BHN); a new, continent-wide conservation initiative. Using decades of accumulated knowledge from butterfly count data, natural history investigations, residential gardening program and regional activities accomplished by the National Butterfly Center and more; NABA is scaling-up efforts to protect, enhance and create habitat specifically for butterflies. The organization intends to inform work on the landscape level that will benefit not only butterflies but other pollinators as well. Butterflies are important pollinators of native plants and represent (as caterpillars) a major food resource for birds. Habitats critical to butterflies are essential to nesting waterfowl, neotropical migratory birds, upland game birds and others.
To recover imperiled species of butterflies and keep common species common are the goals of BHN. By establishing core reserves in sensitive, often declining, vegetative types, NABA can provide stewardship activities on-the-ground on properties whose management is controlled by biologists dedicated to preservation of butterflies. These core areas will be the critical space needed for population maintenance, as part of a network of public and private working lands managed by NABA and partners, that expands the acreage available to butterflies through Farm Bill incentives and other programs. The mosaic of land conservation strategies is designed to promote biodiversity while fostering sustainability of agricultural operations. Sites for acquisition, easements or habitat augmentation will be selected in reference to their butterfly value, proximity to other suitable habitat and likelihood of long term success.