Protection and Recovery of the Mottled Duskywing in Ontario

The Mottled Duskywing is an endangered butterfly that is restricted to southwestern Ontario and southeastern Manitoba. This species is associated with some of the rarest ecosystems in Canada, such as oak savannas, oak and pine woodlands, tall grass prairies, and alvars with early successional habitat where its larval host plants (Ceanothus spp.) occur.

The Mottled Duskywing has been lost from the majority of historically occupied locations in Canada and is declining throughout North America due to habitat loss, fragmentation, and poor management. The largest subpopulations that still exist are in the Rice Lake Plains and Halton watershed.

The Ontario Butterfly Recovery and Implementation Team is putting into effect an ambitious project that includes research projects, a captive rearing program, habitat restoration, and reintroduction at formerly occupied locations.

Jessica Linton is a biological consultant who works on a variety of Species at Risk inventory, monitoring, research, and recovery projects. She is the coordinator of the Ontario Butterfly Species at Risk Recovery and Implementation Team and the author of the draft COSEWIC status report and provincial Recovery Strategy for Mottled Duskywing, and the national recovery strategies for Frosted Elfin, Eastern Persius Duskywing, and Karner Blue. Jessica is also a member of the COSEWIC Arthropod Specialist Subcommittee.