The federally threatened Bay checkerspot butterfly was extirpated from San Bruno Mountain in the mid 1980s. On March 2 and 3 2017, Creekside Science biologists collected 3630 caterpillars from Coyote Ridge in San Jose and released them on the main ridge of San Bruno Mountain. The larvae immediately started munching English plantain, a non-native used by other closely related checkerspot populations. The cool coastal environment, robust perennial hostplant, and extensive habitat are encouraging aspects of this project. This project may show that we can reintroduce extirpated species without the technical challenges and expense of restoring all historical conditions.
Many thanks to the Disney Butterfly Conservation Initiative, US Fish and Wildlife Service, San Mateo County Parks and Recreation, and SF Bay Wildlife Society for financial and professional support.