PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The federal government has added two Upper Midwest butterfly species to its list of threatened and endangered species, pleasing conservationists but worrying farm groups who say it could make it harder for their members to earn a living off the land.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday named the Dakota skipper as threatened and the Poweshiek skipperling as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Both of the inch-long, brown-and-orange butterflies were once found in eight Midwestern and Plains states, but their populations declined due to several reasons, including the loss of native prairie vegetation and agriculture, the agency said.

Sign up for our Top Stories newsletter

Recommended for you