Habitat suitability modeling of the federally endangered poweshiek skipperling in Michigan

Clint D. Pogue, Michael J. Monfils, David L. Cuthrell, Benjamin W. Heumann, Anna K. Monfils

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The Poweshiek skipperling Oarisma poweshiek (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) is a historically common prairie butterfly with a range extending throughout the mesic prairies and prairie fens of the upper Midwestern United States and southern Manitoba, Canada. Rapid, range-wide declines have reduced the number of verified Poweshiek skipperling locations to seven, four of which occur in Michigan. To assist with monitoring and, ultimately, conservation efforts, we developed a habitat model using the software Maxent with ecological and geographical factors. Using a lowest-presence threshold methodology, our habitat suitability model indicated potentially high suitability in 26 of 138 prairie fens with no documentation of Poweshiek skipperling occurrence. The strongest predictors of suitable habitat in our model were prairie fen area and surrounding natural land cover. Wildlife managers can use results from this analysis to expand monitoring to include sites with suitable habitat where Poweshiek skipperling are not currently documented, in addition to identifying potential introduction sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-368
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Fish and Wildlife Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2016


  • Endangered species
  • Habitat modeling
  • Maxent
  • Poweshiek skipperling


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