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Oregon Zoo Releases Last Of Summer's Silverspot Butterflies


In this photo provided by The Oregon Zoo, a newly emerged Oregon silverspot butterfly alights in a meadow atop Mount Hebo, Ore., Aug. 3, 2016. 

In this photo provided by The Oregon Zoo, a newly emerged Oregon silverspot butterfly alights in a meadow atop Mount Hebo, Ore., Aug. 3, 2016. 

Kathy Street/AP

The Oregon Zoo has released the last batch of its zoo-raised silverspot butterflies into the wild as part of a summer program aimed at boosting their numbers.

The zoo said Monday it’s transported nearly 450 butterfly pupaes to four sites along the Oregon Coast this summer.

There, the insects complete their transformation inside mesh nets to protect them from predators and flit away once they emerge.

The silverspot was once common in coastal grasslands from northern California to Canada, but is now listed as threatened due to the loss of its host plant, the early blue violet.

The zoo’s effort began in 1998, but this is the first time the butterflies have been released atop Tillamook County’s Mount Hebo.

 

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