The endangered Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis ), a federally endangered species, has a high regard for the open sunny areas and sandy soils found on Alliant Energy rights-of-way throughout central Wisconsin.
That's because those conditions encourage the growth of wild lupine, the sole food source for the Karner blue butterfly (Kbb) larvae. And considering that an adult butterfly is about the size of a postage stamp, they aren’t equipped to fly far to find new homes.
As a partner in the Habitat Conservation Plan for the Karner blue, Alliant Energy is actively restoring and preserving a suitable habitat for the butterfly on the land we manage.
The Plan, established in 1999, encourages creative partnerships between public and private sectors, and among government agencies in the interest of species and habitat conservation.
The agreement allows Wisconsin land owners like Alliant Energy to “continue operating in and around Kbb habitat, provided they modify their activities to minimize incidental take (such as death, harm or harassment) of the endangered butterfly.”
Alliant Energy employees conduct wild lupine and Kbb surveys each year focusing on areas where field crews have line clearance or construction projects scheduled. Training sessions prepare field crews to protect butterfly habitat by minimizing activities that might have an adverse impact.
In areas where wild lupine is established, we make every effort to limit our field activities during the Kbb’s flight season and to have minimal impact to wild lupine plants.
Visit these informative sites to learn more about the Karner blue butterfly: