The Defense Fuel Support Point (DFSP) in San Pedro not only provides storage for military fuel reserves, but is the site of the Conservancy's Native Plant Nursery and home to the endangered Palos Verdes blue butterfly (Glaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensis) found only on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
The Defense Logistics Agency, which operates the facility, has funded habitat restoration and a breeding program for the blue butterfly. Honey, produced on the premises, is provided to the captive rearing program so the butterflies are able to feed on the same food source as wild insects. Major Jason Pike, an entomologist for the DLA who has been monitoring the project, commented, "The military takes its responsibilities for endangered species on its properties very seriously, and DLA is pleased to provide support for the PV blue butterfly project."
At our nursery, the Conservancy raises more than 23,000 native plants per year to support our habitat restoration projects. The restoration process involves Conservancy field staff and volunteers collecting appropriate seed and cuttings from the preserves. These are cleaned, dried, and stored at the nursery until time for germination. Next, seeds are planted in flats until they have rooted and then are transferred into larger pots where they can mature until planted for restoration.
The DFSP is also habitat for the threatened Palos Verdes blue butterfly, rediscovered in 1994. The Conservancy maintains habitat there and at two other reintroduction sites as part of a multi-organizational partnership with Moorpark College, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Urban Wildlands Group, and the Defense Energy Support Group. Through cultivation of such native plants as deerweed and locoweed as well as habitat restoration at DFSP, the Linden H. Chandler Preserve in Rolling Hills, and Friendship Park in San Pedro, the Conservancy has helped the number of butterflies in captivity to grow dramatically and make their release into the wild possible.