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Taking flight with a Northwest endangered butterfly

Woodland Park Zoo has participated in the Oregon silverspot butterfly breeding project for the last since 2000. These beautiful butterflies have not been seen in the wild, mostly the dunes and meadows along the Washington, Oregon and northern California coast, since 1990. Wanting to head off extinction, WPZ, along with Oregon Zoo and support from the Washington and U.S. Departments of Fish and Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Forest Service and Lewis and Clark College are "headstarting" silverspots for release at our two zoos. We bring in eggs and care for them over the winter until they pupate. Just last month, staff from WPZ took down 162 pupated silverspots for release into a protected area on the Oregon Coast. In total, we have produced 492 pupae for release.

We're happy to be helping one of our native butterflies survive and eventually thrive once again in our region.