Oahu's population of Kamehameha Butterflies received some help this week.
About 94 butterflies were released to the outdoors near Kawainui marsh. The butterfly, also known as Pulelehua, was designated the state insect in 2009.
DLNR's Forestry and Wildlife Division has a new insect lab where breeding the butterflies has been a big success.
“We realized how little we knew about our state insect, but saw this as a species we could take steps to stabilize before it reached that critical point,” Cynthia King of the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife said.
Following the release of the butterflies, the Honolulu Zoo also plans to help with the breeding efforts.
The Kamehameha Butterfly is one of two species native to Hawaii.