Restoration of Fender’s blue butterfly and its prairie ecosystem: Management applications of fire to Baskett Slough NWR

We tested the recolonization ability of the Fender’s blue butterfly and monitored the vegetation response to a management-scale prescribed fire at the Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge, western Oregon. The prescribed fire successfully cut shrub cover in half, but also reduced the size of Festuca roemeri, a dominant native grass. Although the fire killed all Fender’s blue butterfly larvae, as expected, adult females were able to recolonize the burned area from a nearby, unburned patch. These results support predictions that the Fender’s blue butterfly can recolonize burned areas for a distance of at least 100 m.