For more than a decade now, IRC volunteers have been doing point count surveys throughout the landmarks; counting the number and types of butterflies for a fixed period of time in a designated area so that IRC staff can understand how these butterfly populations are changing over time. This data also helps IRC’s Habitat Restoration and Enhancement team identify which butterfly species are in need of the most help, such as the Bernardino Blue and Monarch butterflies, and where to focus restoration efforts to have the most impact.
The Habitat Restoration and Enhancement team worked with the Xerces Society to model an enhancement project that could bolster native butterfly populations. They have identified 11 spots along Limestone Canyon Road ideal for enhancement. These plots were cleared of invasive plants using a solarization technique ideal for small areas, and the team plans on planting nectar and host larval plants, such as purple needlegrass and California fuchsia, in the new year. This habitat enhancement project will hopefully strengthen native butterfly populations in the years to come.
This is an ongoing project, and we hope to see results of IRC staff and volunteers’ hard work in a few years. To stay informed on this progress and learn more about native plants on the Landmarks, visit IRConservancy.org or follow the Landmarks on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.