Thanks to the Endangered Species Act, the rare and tiny El Segundo blue butterfly is back from the brink of extinction and taking up residence along the bluffs of a a popular beach south of the Los Angeles International Airport, says University of Southern California research assistant professor Travis Longcore.
"In the national picture, this project is yet more evidence that the Endangered Species Act works, and that species recovery is not only possible, but sometimes even involves a walk on the beach," says Longcore, who also is the science director for the Urban Wildlands Group.
First placed on the Endangered Species list in 1976, the rare butterfly with electric blue wings existed as late as last month only in three special reserves away from the crowds. Now, a few hundred are thriving in Redondo Beach's four-acre area where tourists, surfers, and beachcombers can get a closer look.
"This is an important step in breaking down the barriers between people and nature in the city," Longcore said. :: Newswise