Bring in the cows

Nash, J. Madeleine
May 2009
High Country News;5/25/2009, Vol. 41 Issue 9, p8
The article identifies the potential of cows in preventing the extinction of Bay checkerspot butterfly in San Jose, California. Conservation biologist Stuart Weiss said that cows pastured in the area are beneficial to the ecosystem. The butterflies are in the threat of extinction because of the smog contains carbon dioxide and nitrogen compounds that may affect their health. The smog act like a fertilizer that encourages the growth of grasses that overrun the growth of native plants like dwarf plantain which is the primary food source for Bay checkerspot caterpillars. However, if the cows eat the grass, it will give way for the native plants to grow and continue offering food and shelter to caterpillars.


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