Observations of Speyeria diana (Diana Fritillary) utilizing forested areas in North Carolina that have been Mechanically thinned and burned
Speyeria diana (Diana fritillary) is a forest dwelling butterfly that has been eradicated from portions of its native habitat in North Carolina. This loss has been attributed to habitat destruction and pesticide use, resulting in its status as a species of special concern. During the spring and summer of 2003 and 2004, we conducted butterfly surveys on forested 10-ha plots in the southern Appalachians of North Carolina in which various forest management practices had been applied. During one survey (June 2004), we observed male Diana fritillary butterflies feeding on flowering Oxydendrum arboretum (sourwood) within plots that had been mechanically thinned and burned. These plots also had the greatest herbaceous plant cover. Our observations suggest that some forest management related disturbances, resulting in increased herbaceous plant cover, may help in conserving this species.
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