Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications
|Silverspot butterfly. Photo by Mike Patterson|
Woodland Park Zoo is part of a team that released 500 Oregon silverspot butterfly caterpillars last week on the slopes of Saddle Mountain located in Oregon.
|A team from Woodland Park Zoo, Oregon Zoo, Oregon Parks and Recreation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service work together to save butterflies. Photo by Trevor Taylor|
|Caterpillars were raised in a conservation lab over the winter. Photo by Mike Patterson|
|It's a team effort! Photo by Michael Cash/Woodland Park Zoo|
|Hatched larvae are released into the wild when they've matured into caterpillars. Photo by Mike Patterson.|
|Adult Oregon silverspot butterflies. Photo by Mike Patterson|
|Early blue violets. Silverspot caterpillars rely on this wildflower, which is disappearing due to human development, as a primary food source. Photo by Trevor Taylor.|
|Releasing caterpillars into the perfect habitat on Saddle Mountain in Oregon. Photo by Michael Cash/Woodland Park Zoo.|
“Saddle Mountain is like the hot real estate market in Seattle—it’s prime land for Oregon silverspots. We have carefully nurtured these fragile caterpillars in our lab and our hope is that they will thrive, successfully reproduce and become the start of a robust butterfly population at this new release site,” said Erin Sullivan, an animal care manager at Woodland Park Zoo who oversees the silverspot recovery project at the zoo.
|This pristine Oregon habitat has what these caterpillars need to survive. Photo by Michael Cash/Woodland Park Zoo.|
|Good job, team! Photo by Trevor Taylor.|
In 2012, Woodland Park Zoo and Oregon Zoo earned the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Significant Achievement Award for the Oregon Silverspot Captive Rearing Program. These gorgeous creatures motivate us all to keep our landscapes healthy, green and pollinator-perfect.