LOS ANGELES, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- An endangered species of butterfly has been showing signs of a comeback in the Dunes Habitat Preserve at Los Angeles International Airport, officials said.
A recently completed study of the small El Segundo Blue Butterfly estimated the population between 120,610 and 125,920, which represents an 8 percent increase from 2010, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"The present count has increased remarkably from the fewer than 500 El Segundo Blue Butterflies that existed in 1976 when it was among the first insects to be listed as a Federal Endangered Species," Robert Freeman, environmental services manager for Los Angeles World Airports, said Friday.
LAWA officials said they created the Dunes Habitat Restoration Project in 1986 to focus on reintroducing and protecting the coastal buckwheat plant. The butterflies spend their entire lives near the buckwheat plant.