While the Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly (TCB) larvae continue to slumber through the winter, TCB Project participants are busy working on several initiatives:
- At the Taylor’s Checkerspot Conservation Breeding Facility (TCCBF), 450 larvae are being monitored during their winter diapause phase. Many larvae in the wild perish during diapause, but we are cautiously optimistic that there will be lots of healthy larvae at the TCCBF for the breeding program or translocation to Denman Island Provincial Park in 2015.
- TCCBF Manager Peter Karsten is completing a comprehensive TCB husbandry manual and is working with Wildlife Preservation Canada to secure funding to hire a student to assist with butterfly care during the hectic breeding and rearing season. Peter, with input from various members of the Invertebrates at Risk Recovery Implementation Group and the Taylor’s Checkerspot Community Working Group, has also drafted several outreach materials (interpretive panels for an information kiosk that will be installed in the Butterfly Reserve this spring, a PowerPoint presentation, display posters, a TCB food garden manual and pamphlet for landowners).
- With guidance and support from BC Ministry of Environment, BC Parks,
and Environment Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program, a paid crew and volunteers made more than four hectares of habitat in Denman Island Provincial Park more suitable for Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterflies (TCBs). The work mainly consisted of limbing or felling trees and saplings that were shading and encroaching on butterfly meadow habitat. Under the direction of Andrew Fyson, the crew also improved conditions for the TCBs on large portions of properties managed by the Denman Conservancy Association.
- Volunteer Coordinator, Deb Bishop is growing TCB food plants for the Taylor’s Checkerspot Conservation Breeding Facility and the Butterfly Reserve in Denman Island Park. If you would like to help with planting or weeding, please contact Deborah Bishop.
- Taylor’s Checkerspot Community Working Group Co-chair, John Mills is planning more volunteer work parties to control Scotch Broom and other invasive vegetation in the Butterfly Reserve. If you enjoy nipping alien invaders in the bud, send an email message to John at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Our Invertebrates at Risk Recovery Implementation Group (RIG) Chair, Jenny Heron, is developing an overarching TCB Habitat Enhancement and Translocation Plan with consultant Nick Page and other members of the RIG. This ‘living document’ will be updated annually and is intended to guide the key TCB Project work. We expect that the plan will be ready to post in the TCB Project section of the website in the next few weeks.