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Diana Fritillary Butterflies


West Virginia

The Diana fritillary (fruhᐧtiᐧlrᐧee) butterfly populations have been decimated in areas that were once within their range. A survey of Diana fritillary butterflies is underway to:

  1. Establish the presence of the species
  2. Quantify the conservation contributions of active forest management to the species’ habitat and survival

This project marks an important step in ensuring the survival of the species in the mid-Atlantic and Appalachia regions for generations to come.

Conservation Enhancement

The project began in the summer of 2022 with pilot field protocols. The USFWS is now preparing for a comprehensive field survey to begin in 2023.

In addition to quantifying the relationships between active forest management and Diana fritillary butterflies in West Virginia, the results will serve as a baseline for understanding the distribution of this species, information which is critical for conservation efforts.

Active Forest Management

Active forest management creates a beneficial diversity of age classes of trees across the landscape, which supports many wildlife species, including the Diana fritillary butterfly.

What’s Next?

The USFWS will develop conservation recommendations based on the data collected in a report to the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources and other partners before the end of 2024. The study may be extended into additional states.

Conservation Success Starts with Keeping Forests Intact

We all have a hand in ensuring conservation of wildlife. When we purchase wood and forest products, we support the sustainable cycle of growing, harvesting and replanting that keeps our forests as forests. Thousands of species call working forests home, and many species thrive in actively managed working forests.