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Bombs and Butterflies
News Bytes 11/29/2019 20 Comments


The tiny St. Francis Satyr butterfly lives in only one place on Earth: a U.S. military base. It’s one of the planet’s rarest butterfly species, with only 3,000 remaining. Each of those butterflies live at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. They are surviving thanks to federal protection from the Endangered Species Act. Who would guess that this particular butterfly species would survive only on a military base? 

The butterfly appears just twice a year for two weeks at a time. That’s when Michigan State University biologist Nick Haddad rushes to Fort Bragg to count the fluttering creatures. He joins a team of Army biologists working to improve the butterflies’ habitat. 

Bombs and butterflies? It’s more common than you might think. Military bases across the United States have turned into protected areas for some species. There isn’t much development in areas where soldiers train. That makes military bases a prime habitat for rare animals, according to Fort Bragg biologist Brian Ball. 

Fort Bragg boasts another endangered species—the small red-cockaded woodpecker. This woodpecker was one of the very first species to be protected by federal regulations. It lives only in long leaf pines, which have been disappearing across the Southeast due to development and suppression of fires. Initial efforts to save the woodpecker and their trees upset landowners and frustrated Army officials. In an effort to save the woodpecker, military exercises were suspended in certain areas. 

Then bureaucrats and biologists changed their approach to saving the woodpecker. They loosened requirements for landowners and military bases. The Army resumed training on the grounds. Officials agreed to set controlled fires, an important key to the woodpecker’s survival. Everyone worked together, and their efforts paid off. It took time and millions of dollars—$408 million over 19 years, to be exact. But the red-cockaded woodpecker may fly off the endangered list. 

What’s the connection between the woodpecker and the St. Francis Satyr butterfly other than their joint residence on a military base? At one point, both species were found nowhere else in the world. The woodpecker is “an umbrella species.” That means what helps the woodpeckers is good for the butterflies and dozens of other vulnerable species. For example, the butterflies and woodpeckers both depend on brush fire for survival. God designed these species to benefit in similar ways from the same environment for their own good. Who would have guessed the correlation between bombs and butterflies, warriors and woodpeckers? 

(A St. Francis’ satyr butterfly rests on a leaf in a swamp at Fort Bragg in North Carolina on Monday, July 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

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Most recent comments

Wow, what a strange

Wow, what a strange connection! It's cool though, and I'm glad that there are such unique ways to save endangered species.

Cool and Weird

When I read the headline "Bombs and Butterflies" I was a little worried but this is actually not much about bombs! Yay!


WOW! this is neat! Where is the video?
this is NA

To Above

They probably made a mistake.


That's funny! I know several people who are in the army, and I wonder if they trained here because one of the people said he was at a military base in North Carolina. (I can't find the video either, so yeah, it must be a mistake.)

@Arlie B and NA

I was wondering that too.

You remember that Apple the

You remember that Apple the cosmic crisp it’s supposed to hit the shelves Monday! Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving!!

@Beth H

Yay!! Is that near you or the first nationally?

No Vidio Fix

Go to a different newsbyte that has a link to a different video, click on the link, and underneath the video it will have a profile photo and say World News Group. Click on the words World News Group and click on the butterflies and bombs video. There will be other videos as well!

@Vaughn H


@Bethsarah G

It's my pleasure.

Video Wow ! i think that was a really good video! I just cliked in the link on the article.

To Above


@Beth G

The first nationally I think!

haha opps!! Lol

haha opps!! Lol

@ Beth H

What's that mean? I know about the apples but I mean what's The first nationally mean? : } Sorry, I should know by now.......

@ NA.

Thank you so much for the link! I was not able to find the video at first, so that was really helpful. And I agree, that was a very good video!


The Cosmic Crisp apple came to stores on Monday, nationally. Meaning they only came out in America, they are actually grown in Washington!


I, to be honest, wouldn't mind if wood peckers or those butterfly's went extinct. I think some people go really extreme on trying to save animals. (I like the military parts, I would consider going to the military if I flunked in school...............I haven'

@ Beth H

Oh. Ok. I haven't seen any yet.

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