Twenty-five years after being federally listed as endangered, the APB population of the Karner blue butterfly has exceeded recovery goals for the local population.
The Albany Pine Bush is part of the Glacial Lake Albany Federal Karner blue butterfly Recovery Unit and one of three recovery areas in New York State. To recover the Karner blue butterfly is to rebuild it populations to a point where it can be removed from state and federal endangered species lists. Across the United States there are 13 designated Federal Recovery Units across the species’ range; east of the Great Lakes only the Glacial Lake Albany Kbb Recovery Unit contains naturally occurring wild Kbb populations. The Commission strives to work with State and Federal partners (NYSDEC, USFWS) to rebuild an annual population of 7,000 and 13,000 adult Karner blue butterflies by restoring approximately 640 acres of suitable habitat in the Preserve. Our recovery efforts are working; since 1991 the acreage of suitable Kbb habitat has increased from 13 acres at 9 sites to more than 200 acres at 35 sites in the Preserve.
With Karner blue numbers below Federal Recovery thresholds in the Pine Bush and suitable habitat and dispersal corridors limiting, recovery emphasis is placed on maintaining existing Karner blue butterfly subpopulations and expanding habitat adjacent to and between these subpopulations until they can be linked together by suitable dispersal corridors. Four recovery phases are being employed in the Preserve: