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Six endangered butterflies raised in captivity have been released into the wild of southeastern Manitoba.

The Assiniboine Park Conservancy says its Conservation and Research Department successfully released six captive-reared Poweshiek skipperling butterflies at the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Tall Grass Prairie Natural Area -- the culmination of a multi-year, collaborative research and conservation effort.

A release from the Conservancy says recent estimates suggest that there may be fewer than 100 Poweshiek skipperling remaining in Canada. It says a loss of habitat has resulted in the dramatic decline of several highly specialized grassland species, including the Poweshiek skipperling, and the Tall Grass Prairie Natural Area is one of only two small, isolated locations where the butterfly can still be found. The other is near Flint, Michigan.