By Miriam Raftery
July 2, 2020 (San Diego)—Once the most common butterfly in Southern California, the Quino Checkerspot Butterfly has lost over 70 percent of its habitat. It’s been listed as a federally endangered species since 1997, but is not on California Endangered Species Act. That could soon change, if a petition filed this week by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Endangered Habitats League is successful.
The butterfly is now found only in San Diego and Riverside Counties. The petition, filed with the California Fish and Game Commission, would make the colorful butterfly an endangered species under state law, giving stronger protections against habitat destruction and fragmentation, climate change, nitrogen pollution, invasive species and enforcement.