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updated: 6/10/2014 5:33 AM

Indiana Dunes project to help endangered butterfly

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Associated Press

PORTER, Ind. -- The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the Indiana Dunes State Park will begin restoring a black oak savanna they share this summer to save the homes of the endangered Karner blue butterfly and other native species.

Myriad native wildflowers and grasses call the black oak savanna home, but invasive species have moved into the savanna and pushed out native plants, including wild blue lupine. The lupine is the sole food source for the endangered Karner blue butterfly.

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Indiana Dunes State Park Property Manager Brandt Baughman tells The (Munster) Times the park hopes lupine will grow back and support a habitat for the butterfly.

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the Karner blue butterfly's population has fallen 99 percent, mostly in the last 15 years.

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