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pollinators

The Poweshiek skipperling at rest.
Cale Nordmeyer

One of the 27 Michigan species facing extinction is a tiny butterfly called the Poweshiek skipperling. They are small, about an inch long, and live in native prairie habitats throughout the Midwest.

They were once a common sight in Michigan, but Oakland County is one of the very few remaining places where you can find a Poweshiek skipperling. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Tamara Smith studies the butterfly and joined Stateside to talk about what’s driving the steep decline in population.

Two beekeepers looking at a frame.
Rebecca Kruth / Michigan Radio

Most veterinarians probably don't picture themselves working with bees. But thanks to new federal regulations, more and more might soon find themselves with six-legged patients.

photo of a monarch butterfly
user Jim, the Photographer / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The federal government has a competitive program for state wildlife grants.

Michigan and Wisconsin are getting $500,000 to help protect several species of bees and butterflies that are in trouble.

Jim Hodgson is with the Midwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“They’re partnering together to restore grassland, prairie, and savanna habitats that will benefit the rusty patched bumblebee, the yellow patched bumblebee, monarch butterflies, the frosted elfin, mottled dusty wing butterfly, and the endangered Karner blue butterfly,” he says.

The search for the next great bee

Aug 4, 2015
Lou Blouin

Honey bees pollinate about a third of the crops in the U.S—that’s about $15 billion of the agricultural economy. But honeybees have had a tough time lately: a combination of diseases, stress, parasites and pesticides have all hurt the honey bee population.

Scientists are starting to look at how other species of bees could help pick up the slack.