Biologist successfully repopulates a rare species of butterfly from his San Francisco backyard


The California Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor hirsuta) is a rare butterfly species in San Francisco but thanks to the hard work of aquatic biologist Tim Wong, the butterfly species has now started to repopulate again.

California Academy of Sciences aquatic biologist, Tim Wong, noticed that the population of the California Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies has been dramatically declining over the years.

So, he decided to help the butterflies repopulate again in his backyard.

The aquatic biologist then began to build a greenhouse perfect for the butterflies to repopulate in his backyard.

He made sure that the greenhouse had the perfect condition for the butterflies to grow—the perfect temperatures, adequate sunlight, and an occasional nice breeze.

He also ensured that the butterflies had enough food. However, the butterflies only fed on one particular plant that was the California pipevine (Aristolochia Californica).

It was very hard to find the plant around the area but luckily, he managed to track down a botanical garden that planted the plant and allowed him to take some clippings to grow in his greenhouse.

Once everything was in place, Tim then brought 20 California Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars into the greenhouse and let them grow.

Thankfully, it seemed that his hard work and effort have finally paid off! 

From just 20 caterpillars, the California Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies are now thriving in his backyard.

“Each year since 2012, we’ve seen more butterflies surviving in the garden, flying around, laying eggs, successfully pupating, and emerge the following year,” Wong said.

“That’s a good sign that our efforts are working!”

Credit: Bored Panda


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