How one man is singlehandedly restoring San Francisco’s endangered butterflies

San Francisco, California-based Tim Wong is an aquatic biologist at the California Academy of Sciences.

He has been passionate about butterflies since he was young, capturing caterpillars and breeding them into butterflies in his spare time.


California Pipevine Swallowtail lifecycle

Wong has parlayed that childhood passion into an one-man effort saving San Francisco’s population of California pipevine swallowtail (Battus philenor hirsuta) butterflies from disappearing completely.

It seems that Wong’s diligent efforts have paid off in the last four years. Last year, he was able to breed “thousands” of caterpillars which were transferred over to the Botanical Garden.

Wong’s project is the first to truly succeed in San Francisco since the 1980s.

Wong attributes the success to careful research and constant care of the habitat he’s built in his backyard, showing that habitat restoration does make a huge difference in the survival of a species.

Photo credits: Tim Wong

See full Treehugger article.

See Wong’s project on Facebook.

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