Opportunity to view the endangered Karner blue butterfly

The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission invites the public to the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center to view Karner blue butterflies raised for release as part of its effort to recover this endangered species.

The butterflies will be on display at the Discovery Center, at 195 New Karner Road, through July 20 and perhaps longer depending on the rate at which they emerge from their chrysalises.

“One question visitors often ask is ‘Where can I see the Karner blues?’” said Discovery Center Director Jeffrey Folmer  in a release from the center. “These beautiful, but tiny butterflies are rare, hard to spot, live only three to five days, and are difficult to distinguish from other similar non-endangered butterflies.  We now have 900 of them emerging from their chrysalises one by one and they’re on view until they all emerge.”

After more than 50 years of decline, the Karner blue has returned to former haunts throughout many parts of the 3,200-acre preserve.  First studied and named by zoologist and author Vladimir Nabokov in 1944, Karner blues can now be found at nearly 60 sites covering more than 200 acres of the preserve.

The captive rearing program is funded by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service New York Field office.