The Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly: A Success Story
In the early 1980s, the Palos Verdes blue butterfly (Glaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensis) was thought to be extinct until a sighting by a team of researchers at the Defense Fuel Support Point in San Pedro in 1994. This rediscovery spearheaded a multi-organizational effort to bring the PV blue butterfly from the brink of extinction to full recovery.
As part a multi-organizational partnership, the Conservancy grows the food plants, restores and maintains the habitat essential to the reintroduction of the species. According to biologist Dr. Jana Johnson who heads the Butterfly Project at Moorpark College, "The Conservancyâ€™s work to restore this native habitat has been key to the recovery of the PV blue butterfly."
Over the past four years, several thousand PV blue butterflies have been released into the wild. In addition to cultivating plants and creating habitat necessary for their survival, Conservancy staff and volunteers monitor the species as part of recovery efforts.
Since it was founded in 1988, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy has preserved more than 1,600 acres of open spaces on the Peninsula. The spectacular views and precious habitat not only contribute to the quality of human life on the peninsula, but provide valuable refuges and wildlife corridors for animal and plant inhabitants.
Beaches and bluffs, steep slopes, canyons and ridgelines – this diverse topography leads to the Peninsula's rich biodiversity. Native coastal sage scrub, grassland, cactus and riparian scrub grow alongside non-native annual grassland, exotic woodlands and large areas of disturbed vegetation.
We shelter four at-risk species: the El Segundo blue butterfly, the Palos Verdes blue butterfly, the Coastal California gnatcatcher and the cactus wren. Our native plant nursery cultivates 60 different species of plants that are used in restoration projects that restore habitat critical to survival of these species.
Come enjoy these open spaces, ideal for recreation and renewal – and consider joining the Conservancy to provide ongoing support to help maintain the land that we've preserved together.