April 3rd, 2017
An effort to save the Quino checkerspot butterfly from extinction appears to be working.
Biologists from several local agencies returned recently to a hillside in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, where they had placed butterfly larvae in specially constructed pods over the winter, and found that nature had taken its course: Quino checkerspots were flitting about.
“Observing more than 35 butterflies flying in one day on the reintroduction site is extraordinary,” said Paige Howorth, associate curator of invertebrates at the San Diego Zoo. “It’s a welcome measure of hope, after years of drought and uncertainty for this species.”
Quino checkerspots used to be among the most commonly seen butterflies in Southern California, their range extending from the coast near Ventura County, east to the Tehachapi Mountains and south to northern Baja.