Climate Change and Edith's Checkerspot Butterfly by Defenders of Wildlife

When the planet warms and formerly ideal habitats become hot and dry, creatures must move or die. The Edith's checkerspot butterfly is no exception.

This colorful butterfly once inhabited the West Coast from northern Mexico to southern Canada. In the past 40 years, southern and low-lying checkerspot populations have been dying off faster than those elsewhere. It seems that plants on which checkerspot caterpillars live and feed in these areas are withering away, thus starving the insects before they can become butterflies. As a result, the butterfly's range has shifted north by 63 miles, perhaps dooming the southernmost subspecies, the endangered Quino, to eventual extinction.

For more on the Quino checkerspot, visit NatureServe Explorer.

Copyright © 2017 NatureServe. All Rights Reserved.