The Taylor’s Checkerspot (Euphydryas editha taylori) is listed as a state endangered species in Washington and is a candidate for the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Before its dramatic decline, the Taylor’s Checkerspot was documented at more than seventy sites in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. We now know of fourteen populations totaling approximately 2,000 individuals in Washington’s Puget Trough and Oregon’s Willamette Valley prairies. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has implemented an active conservation plan and is working with the Oregon Zoo on a project to reintroduce the butterfly into its native habitat. The Xerces Society is actively working to protect the Oregon site where this species still occurs.
The host plants include harsh paintbrush (Castilleja hispida), in the figwort/snapdragon family (Scrophulariaceae), and Plantago lanceolata in the plantain family (Plantaginacea). Its natural habitat includes oak balds, meadows in oak woodlands and open grasslands. These areas have decreased with the encroachment of trees, invasive plants, human developments, agricultural needs, recreational activities, and pesticides.
Sarina Jepsen is the Endangered Species Coordinator for The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. For additional information contact Sarina at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Photo Credit: Dana Ross)