Restoring the Endangered Taylor's Checkerspot Butterfly by Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Efforts to restore the endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly and its imperiled prairie habitat embody cooperative conservation in Washington’s wildlife action plan. Much of the prairie habitat the butterflies depend upon has been lost to human use, encroaching forest, and non-native plants that replace caterpillar food plants. 

The first captive-reared butterflies to emerge as adults in the wild flew in the South Puget Sound area in May 2007, a successful start to a cooperative effort to recover this endangered species. More releases of zoo-reared caterpillars are planned on state land and the Fort Lewis Army Base, where some of Washington’s best prairie habitat remains. Butterflies are particularly sensitive to pollution and other environmental disturbances that affect us all. 

Investments in Washington’s wildlife action plan today can identify and prevent problems before they threaten other wildlife and affect people.

Photo: Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly/Kelly McAllister, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

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