Saratoga County might be the last place you’d expect to find endangered species, but we have two that call the area home: the Indiana bat and Karner blue butterfly (up until 2007, that list also included the bald eagle). What is the county doing to help? It turns out, a lot, actually.
The Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park has stepped up the fight to save the Karner blue butterfly with an important initiative. After being placed on the federal endangered species list in 1992, the Karner blue butterfly has been making a comeback, thanks, in part, to a recovery plan by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which is expected be completed in 2023. Wilton’s Wildlife Preserve & Park has joined the recovery effort by protecting areas where the blue lupine wildflower grows, the only plant on which Karner blue butterfly larvae can survive and one that thrives in Saratoga County.
Now through June 26, Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park is offering guided nature walks, which focus on sightings of the Karner blue butterfly. The tours leave from the parking area on Old Gick Farm on Route 50 and take place on Wednesdays at 11am and 4pm, weather permitting. The preserve will also be hosting a free Bluegrass for Karner Blues concert, with the Schroon River String Band, on Sunday, June 9 from 2-4pm at Camp Saratoga, to raise awareness for the endangered butterflies. A special 1pm nature walk, leaving from Parking Lot No.1 on Scout Road, will precede the concert.
For more information about the walks and to pre-register, visit Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park’s website.