Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly Recovery Project
PROJECT OVERVIEW (current status)
Taylor’s Checkerspot butterfly (TCB) is an Endangered species in Canada. Also known as Whulge or Edith’s Checkerspot (Euphydryas editha taylori), they were once common in Garry Oak ecosystems, wet meadows and disturbed habitats from the Comox Valley and Hornby Island in BC to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. These eye-catching little orange and black butterflies have disappeared from all but 15 locations in the world. Currently (2019), the only known breeding sites for TCBs in Canada are on Denman Island and near Campbell River.
Taylor’s Checkerspot recovery in British Columbia has been an ongoing effort by numerous groups and agencies for more than a decade. Inventory within unsurveyed potential habitat, surveys and monitoring within known sites, habitat assessment, biological information gathering and ongoing stewardship work by local groups has contributed to our current knowledge of this butterfly. This website summarizes some of the recent recovery efforts for Taylor’s Checkerspot in Canada.
The GOERT Invertebrates At Risk Recovery Implementation Group (RIG) and other Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly Recovery Project Team members and partners are working to reverse the population decline of Taylor’s Checkerspots in Canada. Over the next five years, the Project Team is planning to augment the existing population and re-establish populations of the butterfly in at least two sites within its former range. This recovery project involves much planning, consultation, collaboration, volunteer effort and on-the-ground work with a team of dedicated individuals and project partners.
The Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly Recovery Project has several simultaneous components, including: habitat enhancement at both existing sites and proposed translocation sites, monitoring TCB population trends and habitat, breeding and rearing butterflies at the Greater Vancouver Zoo, as well as planning for future initiatives, and ensuring the public has opportunities to become involved in the recovery efforts for this species.
PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS
Many organizations and individuals are contributing countless hours of time, expertise, resources and labour to TCB conservation initiatives. The Taylor’s Checkerspot Recovery Project Team includes:
Some of the Project Team member agencies, organizations and individuals are also working on other TCB conservation projects (check their websites for details).
We are grateful for the generous funding and in-kind support that the project has received from community volunteers, consultants, and:
- BC Conservation Foundation;
- BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy;
- BC Parks;
- BC Parks License Plate Program;
- Denman Conservancy Association;
- Environment Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program;
- Greater Vancouver Zoo;
- Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation;
- Hornby Island Community School;
- Hornby Island Natural History Centre;
- Hylcan Foundation;
- Parks Canada Agency;
- Mosaic Forests;
- Private donors;
- University of British Columbia;
- The Walmart-Evergreen Green Grants Program;
- Wildlife Preservation Canada.
YOU CAN SUPPORT THE TCB RECOVERY PROJECT TOO!
There are many ways to become involved and support the conservation work for Taylor’s Checkerspot.
Please contact us about this initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you wish to volunteer with the Taylor’s Checkerspot Conservation Breeding Program, please contact Andrea Gielens, Wildlife Preservation Canada Lead Biologist for BC Projects: email@example.com.
If you’d like to become more involved with the scientific advice and research for Taylor’s Checkerspot, including those interested in pursuing graduate studies in areas of Taylor’s Checkerspot conservation, please contact the Recovery Implementation Group (RIG) chair Jennifer Heron (Jennifer.Heron@gov.bc.ca) to discuss potential projects and funding options. Although she will look for funding opportunities for exciting Taylor’s Checkerspot projects, students are also asked to think about means to secure external funding.
Taylor’s Checkerspots may still be in areas of unsurveyed Garry Oak and associated ecosystems, as well as open wet clear-cuts, meadows, farmer’s fields and grazed pastures, wet rocky outcrops and similar habitats. Many small, unchecked areas of habitat remain within the Comox and Courtenay areas, southeastern Vancouver Island along the coast to Victoria, Hornby Island, Texada Island, Lasqueti Island, and the southern Gulf Islands. If these habitats are within your community, and you or your local conservation organization would like to become more involved in searching for the species within these areas, please also contact Jennifer Heron, the RIG chair.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
- See the Taylor’s Checkerspot section of our Species at Risk field manual.(PDF 2.4MB)
- Download this handy butterfly identification sheet. (PDF 6MB)
- The Denman Conservancy Association’s website has articles and information about TCBs and associated stewardship projects.
- Here are links to the Wildlife Preservation Canada Taylor’s Checkerspot webpage and field blog.
- The national status report for the Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly written for the Committee for the Status on Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).
- The Environment Canada Species at Risk Public Registry has a species profile, the COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report, the Recovery Strategy for Multi-Species at Risk in Maritime Meadows associated with Garry Oak Ecosystems in Canada, and COSEWIC Annual Reports.
- BC Conservation Data Centre Species and Ecosystems Explorer features information about federal and provincial status listings, location maps, and several reports.
- US Fish and Wildlife Service Environmental Conservation Online Service TCB species profile.
- Oregon Zoo Taylor’s Checkerspot Recovery Project.
- A species profile by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
- The Cascadia Prairie Oak Partnership website has Action Plans, presentations from a 2014 Edith’s (Taylor’s) Checkerspot Workshop, and other information.
- Conservation Northwest species profile.