BAHIA HONDA KEY, Florida (AP) — The butterfly known as the Miami blue was once ubiquitous along the Florida coasts. But development and hurricanes shrank its habitat, and the last place it was seen was a state park in the Florida Keys in 2010.
For more than a year, it's been Bahia Honda State Park biologist Jim Duquesnel's mission to determine if the small butterfly, one of the rarest insects in the U.S., is still there, while fending off the iguanas threatening its habitat.
No confirmed Miami blues have been seen on Bahia Honda since July 2010, and with each passing day it becomes less likely any exist there.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued an emergency listing of the Miami blue as an endangered species. The listing continues through April, and federal officials may make it permanent.