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Volunteers Breed State Butterfly To Keep It In Md.

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Butterfly

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland’s state butterfly is found across much of eastern North America but is increasingly rare in the state that has adopted it.

So, volunteers are breeding the caterpillars that produce the Baltimore Checkerspot in hopes of keeping the black and yellow butterfly in the state.

At Black Hill Regional Park in Montgomery County, volunteers raised about 250 caterpillars collected from the wild and released them this year as butterflies into areas primed for restoration.

The Harford Glen Environmental Education Center in Bel Air also has been releasing butterflies for three years. But others have given up after colonies failed to sustain themselves.

Experts say the butterfly’s decline in Maryland is likely due to the losses of wet meadows and a plant favored by the butterfly for laying its eggs.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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