What Can Be Done

Ensuring Survival – Solutions

Some solutions that would ensure the survival of the Palos Verdes blue butterfly would be to (1) reduce the rate of urban development in Palos Verdes, (2) increase the number of native plants in the area, and  (3) expand the species range beyond the peninsula.

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With the current economic system in the United States and the influx of Americans moving into Los Angeles, the city has become a melting pot for wealthy investors and affluent families to create new infrastructures and businesses. For example, in 2006 Donald Trump purchased a $27,000,000 property in the city and established the Trump National Golf Club, a 45,000 square foot area that has a beachfront view and hosts annual golfball tournaments. This is just one example of businesses migrating to the Palos Verdes Penninsula and preventing grassroots organizations from protecting natural habitats in the area. Although the reduction of urban planning in Palos Verdes would allow native habitats to be protected and ensure the survival of the butterfly, this seems quite unlikely to occur because of wealthy businessmen purchasing new areas for infrastructure. Local legislation could be created to prevent urban development from continuing to occur near certain habitats of the Palos Verdes blue butterfly, but our bureaucracy makes it difficult to prevent investors from thriving in these affluent areas. 

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Since reducing urban development seems difficult to carry out, the city could allow grassroots organizations to increase the amount of locoweed and deerweed in the peninsula, which are native California plants that the Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly uses to lays its eggs. Increasing the prevalence of these plants near the butterfly’s habitats would allow them to create more offsprings and increase the birth rate of its species, overall increasing the size of the population.

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Something to consider, though, when carrying out this method is to prevent the Palos Verdes blue butterfly from increasing excessively, since we would not want the butterfly to invade other species’ niches and drain the habitat of individual nutrients. If the butterfly would increase in its population, it would be necessary to increase the species range beyond its current habitats. By adding locoweed and deerweed in regions beyond the Palos Verdes Peninsula, for example, Long Beach and Santa Monica, the species’ population could increase while avoiding immense ecological damage to its original habitat. Although this theory seems like an efficient method to ensure the survival of the Palos Verdes blue butterfly, further research would need to be conducted to ensure that the butterfly would survive in new areas and not invade other niches. 

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In a combination of these methods and careful consideration of their applications, the Palos Verdes blue butterfly could avoid extinction and thrive among other species in the coast of Los Angeles. More awareness about the impacts of urban development would ensure other native species in Los Angeles could survive with the Palos Verdes blue butterfly, but we should still be optimistic about the survival of this species.

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