Prove your humanity

About a million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. A stark United Nations report earlier this year found human activities are driving the decline.

Butterfly watchers at the Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard training center in Lebanon County. Photo: Marie Cusick/ StateImpact Pennsylvania

The regal fritillary, a rare butterfly that’s nearly disappeared from the eastern United States, has found refuge in a surprising place — a National Guard training center in central Pennsylvania.

The training center is the only known habitat for the butterfly in the Eastern U.S. It welcomes hundreds of people each summer who want to see the “regals.”

On a recent outing, despite a mixup that led to unexpected flights from military aircraft nearby, a group of visitors was not disappointed.

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This story is produced in partnership with StateImpact Pennsylvania, a collaboration among The Allegheny Front, WPSU, WITF and WHYY to cover the commonwealth's energy economy.