Mitchell's Satyr Butterfly
- One of the world’s rarest butterflies.
- Found only in Michigan and Indiana.
- It has brown coloring with a row of black, yellow-ringed eyespots on the undersides of its wings.
The Need for Management
The largest impacts on the Mitchell’s satyr butterfly population have been habitat loss and change and invasive species. The Mitchell’s satyr butterfly requires a special kind of wetland habitat found in prairie fens. These are grassy wetlands created in parts of the Midwest that were scoured by glaciers. Only 17 such wetlands are in Michigan.
In 2006, the departments of Natural Resources in Indiana and Michigan received a grant to write a Habitat Conservation Plan that helps to better manage prairie fens for Mitchell’s satyr butterflies. Since this plan has been put in place, substantially more habitat is available to foster the butterfly’s population growth.
Work is still needed to help preserve the fen landscape that the Mitchell’s satyr butterfly calls home, but the following activities are producing progress:
- Landowners receive funding through the Landowner Incentive Program to convert unused land into fen habitats.
- Removal of invasive species countered with the replanting of native species.
- Prescribed burns.