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How you can help the rare Island Marble Butterfly

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and US Fish and Wildlife invite landowners on San Juan and Lopez islands to  learn more about conservation of the island marble butterfly under a Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAA).

Island Marble Butterfly Photo courtesy of USFWS

CCAs are  formal, voluntary agreements between the FWS and one or more parties to address the conservation needs of one or more candidate species or species likely to become candidates in the near future. Candidate species are plants and animals that are candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

However, due to concern about potential land use restrictions that could occur if a species becomes listed under the ESA, some property owners have been reluctant to engage in conservation activities that encourage use of their land or water by such species.

A Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) addresses this concern by providing incentives for non-federal property owners to engage in voluntary conservation activities that provides a net conservation benefit to the species. More specifically, a CCAA provides participating property owners with a permit containing assurances that if they engage in certain conservation actions for species included in the agreement, they will not be required to implement additional conservation measures beyond those in the CCAA. If the species is listed, additional land, water, or resource use limitations will not be imposed on them, unless they consent to such changes.

The USFWS will provide a presentation and an open discussion forum on incentives for property owners to enroll in the CCAA to engage in voluntary conservation activities that benefit the species.

There are four sessions scheduled for you to find out how you can help save this rare butterfly:

Wednesday, September 26 at the Lopez Island Center for Community and Arts

2 to 4 pm 

6 to 8 pm.

Thursday, September 27 at the San Juan Island Grange Hall in Friday Harbor.

2 to 4 pm 

6 to 8 pm 

The island marble butterfly does not migrate and is only found on San Juan Island. After 90 years without a documented occurrence, the island marble butterfly was rediscovered in 1998 on San Juan Island. Island marble butterflies are most visible in the spring when they are winged adults, but for the rest of the year they are present as either eggs, caterpillars, or chrysalises. After an island marble butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, it immediately mates and lays eggs, flying only a few days before dying.

For more information about island marble butterflies, visit www.fws.gov/wafwo

To learn more about CCAAs, visit https://www.fws.gov/endangered/esa-library/pdf/CCAs.pdf.


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