By Sara Barnes on July 28, 2016
The California pipevine swallowtail butterfly was once suffering a fate that so many creatures face—the loss of its habitat in San Francisco was causing their population to decline. But thanks to one man’s DIY efforts, the iridescent blue-winged insect is flourishing again.
California Academy of Sciences aquatic biologist Tim Wong single-handedly revived the flailing species by building a home for them in his backyard. Now, over three years later, the stunning butterflies have slowly returned to the Golden Gate city.
Wong began his revitalization endeavor in his spare time. Having raised butterflies since elementary school, he researched the pipevine swallowtail and learned that it only feeds on the California pipevine plant—an especially-rare species of flora in the city. Wong finally discovered it at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, and they let him take a few clippings home.[…]