WPC is an active member of the Ontario Butterfly Species at Risk Recovery Team, a collaborative, multi-disciplinary group which has been leading monitoring, habitat restoration, conservation, and research activities for mottled duskywing since 2017.
In 2018, the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory developed rearing techniques with a closely related common species, the wild indigo duskywing (Erynnis baptisiae). The following year the first mottled duskywings were collected and raised in captivity. From the 12 females collected, nearly 200 individuals were released back to their source site in various life stages – larva, pupa, and second generation butterflies – plus several hundred eggs. The rearing program will act as a source for reintroductions and to increase the size of existing populations. The first reintroductions are set to occur at Pinery Provincial Park in 2021, which historically supported a population of this species.
WPC will be leading a monitoring program at Pinery Provincial Park to evaluate release efforts and fill important knowledge gaps such as dispersal distance and survival rates of different life stages, including overwintering success. Annual releases are expected to to occur in the Park for at least the next three years in an effort to establish a healthy population. Results from the reintroduction and associated monitoring program will inform plans for a second introduction site in Norfolk County, as well as future actions to supplement remaining populations across its Canadian range.
The monitoring program is part of a larger collaborative research program lead by Dr. Ryan Norris at the University of Guelph, aimed at reversing the decline of mottled duskywing in Canada.