Taylor's Checkerspot butterfly

Taylor’s Checkerspot (Euphydryas editha taylori) butterflies are extremely rare. There are only three known wild populations in Canada and 13 more in Washington and Oregon.

In British Columbia, they were once fairly widespread in coastal and inland grasslands on southern Vancouver Island and adjacent islands. Now they’re only found on Denman Island, Hornby Island, and near Campbell River.

Taylor's Checkerspot butterfly recovery project in B.C.

The Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly Recovery Project Team includes representatives from BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, BC Parks, biological consultants, Denman Conservancy Association, Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team, Greater Vancouver Zoo, Mosaic Forests, Wildlife Preservation Canada, and others.

The Recovery Project Team are working on:

  • Improving butterfly habitat in Helliwell and Denman Island Provincial Parks, Denman Conservancy Association lands, and private properties
    • Through invasive plant control, removing lower branches of trees or selective removal of encroaching trees, shrubs, or other plants that shade butterfly meadows
    • Adding thousands of native plants and seeds to increase the abundance and density of larval food and nectar plants for adult butterflies
  • Captive rearing at the Greater Vancouver Zoo and releasing offspring in to protected areas
    • More than 1,300 Checkerspot larvae have been gently placed in the Denman Island Park and Protected Area and nearly 2,100 larvae were relocated to the meadow in Helliwell Park to date
  • Butterfly monitoring and surveys on public and private land to determine distribution and abundance
  • Reducing other threats
    • Trampling by cyclists, walkers and off-leash dogs
    • Predation by wasps
  • Public outreach and engagement

Conservation partnerships

The Taylor’s Checkerspot recovery actions are made possible with support from: