The Poweshiek skipperling is a prairie butterfly, native to Wisconsin and the Midwest, that is protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. This butterfly used to be found across the Midwest, however today there are fewer than 500 left in the wild! The species has only been seen in two Wisconsin counties in recent years and is of the highest priority for conservation. With less than 4% of their original tallgrass native prairie habitat remaining in the U.S., the main threat to the Poweshiek is habitat loss and degradation.
Together with the Minnesota Zoo, John Ball Zoo, Assiniboine Zoo, and other local partners, the Zoological Society of Milwaukee is working to protect this species from extinction by preserving prairie habitat and finding innovative ways to prevent the extirpation of this butterfly from our state.
To learn more about the Poweshiek skipperling’s conservation status, visit the USFWS website. To learn more about the ex situ conservation of the Poweshiek, visit the Minnesota Zoo’s Prairie Butterfly Conservation website.