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Mission Creek Offenders Help Raise, Release Endangered Butterfly

March 7, 2016

By Tim Kelly

DOC Communications

(Tim Kelly , DOC Communications) Watch video on YouTube YouTube video

BELFAIR - Offenders from the Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women released 1,000 Checkerspot Butterfly larvae outside Olympia last week as part of a program to restore the threatened species to its native habitat.

The wriggly, black larvae, which were raised at women’s prison in Belfair, were released by offenders along with members of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Sustainability in Prisons Project, and the Oregon Zoo on Feb. 23.

Women from Mission Creek have released more than 9,000 larvae during the past five seasons that they have participated in the program with the SPP.

The offenders devote up to eight hours each day to the larvae. They are responsible for feeding, picking food, changing liners, and collecting eggs.

Breeding and flight season begin for the transformed larvae in late April and early May.

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