Comox Valley Nature is pleased to host the following free online lecture:
Title: An update on the checkerspot butterfly recovery project
Speakers: Jennifer Heron and Chris Junck
Date: Sunday, April 10, 2022
Time: 7:00 p.m. PT
This webinar is facilitated by the Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists and is open to the public (see the registration link below).
Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha taylori) had a historical range from Hornby Island, southeastern Vancouver Island and south into Oregon. The species was thought to be extirpated in Canada by 2000 since no checkerspots were found on the last known sites on Hornby Island. However, new populations were found on Denman Island in 2005 and near Campbell River in 2018.
The checkerspot butterfly is federally listed at Endangered and the decline is likely due to habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation. Checkerspot butterflies need open sunny meadows where they can find suitable host plants (food for larvae and nectar-producing flowers for adults), such as woolly sunflower, common camas, small-flowered blue-eyed Mary, wild strawberry, sea blush, and yarrow. Meadows in Helliwell Provincial Park on Hornby Island have become less suitable for butterflies due to invasions of non-native plants and encroaching forests.
The Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly Recovery Project is a collaborative effort to restore Taylor’s checkerspot populations in British Columbia through habitat enhancement, captive butterfly rearing and release, monitoring, public outreach, and other activities. More information: https://goert.ca/beautiful-and-hopefully-bountiful-butterflies-in-helliwell/
About the speakers
Jennifer Heron is a Provincial Invertebrate Conservation Specialist with the Species Conservation Science Unit of the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. Jennifer has been working on invertebrate conservation topics beginning with her MSc in 1998 studying ants in the Okanagan. She works with other invertebrate specialists and conservation and stewardship groups to develop conservation status ranks and recovery-planning approaches for invertebrate groups, and to achieve common public outreach goals. She is the chair of the Taylor’s Checkerspot Recovery Project Team and also co-chairs the Arthropods Specialist Subcommittee for the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).
Chris Junck is a conservation biologist with a BSc in biology from the University of Alberta. He was a member of BC’s Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT) staff from 2002 to 2015 and currently serves as a director on the board, a voluntary position. He has reported on recent recovery activities for checkerspot butterflies in Helliwell Park on Hornby Island including the removal of Douglas fir, replacing the invasive plants with native species, and the introduction of checkerspot caterpillars.
“Seating capacity” for the talk is limited, and you need to register in advance. You can check the computer requirements for attendees here.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the webinar.
If you are new to Comox Valley Nature, find out more about us here.
Although CVN lectures are free, donations of any size from non-members who attend are always appreciated ($4.00 is suggested).