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Rare butterfly rests its wings in unique SE Michigan ecosystem

A rare butterfly that once thrived on the Great Plains is fighting for its survival in Michigan. Current State’s Kevin Lavery braves the backcountry in search of the Poweshiek Skipperling.

We’re all familiar with the phrase “like finding a needle in a haystack.” Even if you’ve never actually searched for said needle, you can probably imagine how difficult the task can be.

Imagine the needle has wings and the haystack is a couple hundred acres wide. That pretty much sums up the environmental expedition Current State’s Kevin Lavery went on recently with a team of experts in search of a tiny butterfly that’s made it onto the U.S. endangered species list.

They were looking for a butterfly called the Poweshiek Skipperling. It’s only found in a half a dozen places on Earth, and two-thirds of them are in Michigan.

Kevin Lavery served as a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered before retiring in 2023.
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