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List: Carolina-Leps
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2020 01:43:45 +0000
From: Derb Carter <derbc...>
Subject: Arogos Skipper

I was fortunate to see several Arogos Skippers in NC at the Croatan National Forest site before that population disappeared ten years ago. Nearly twenty years ago experts did regional surveys and an assessment of the eastern population of Arogos and concluded it was rare, declining, and had disappeared from numerous sites. This was the opportunity for the Fish & Wildlife Service to listing and protect remaining populations under the federal Endangered Species Act. This would have provided protection from collecting, more attention from federal land management agencies, development of a plan to recover the species, and opportunity for funding for conservation. Unfortunately, the Fish & Wildlife Service failed to act.

As Harry mentioned, the Forest Service fried the only known population of Arogos in NC and despite attention by people in the field and searching favorable looking habitat, it may be extirpated in NC. No known populations exist now between New Jersey and Florida.

I understand the NC Arogos are/were the same as those still around but rare in southern New Jersey. Some researchers think this is one of four ecotypes and possibly distinct subspecies of eastern Arogos. The Forest Service and FWS could maybe atone for their past actions and inactions by investigating and if feasible developing a plan to use the New Jersey population to reestablish a population at the previous NC site. We know prior to the excessive burning this site supported a population. Reestablishing this population would provide more resiliency for the species. There is innovative and successful work going on, including captive rearing, to expand the endangered St Francis Mitchell's Satyr on Fort Bragg. Similar efforts should be used for the disappearing eastern Arogos before it is too late.

Derb Carter