butterfly conservation citizen science
Credit: Bruce Fingerhood/Flickr

Resurrecting butterflies: A tale of hope and survival through conservation efforts

Metamorphosis is both a biological process and a metaphor for the lives of the citizen-scientist inmates of Mission Creek.

Brian Payton reports for Hakai Magazine.


In short:

  • Incarcerated women at Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women are raising Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, an endangered species, as part of a conservation effort.
  • The program, a collaboration with The Evergreen State College and Washington State’s Sustainability in Prisons Project, aims to bolster the dwindling populations of this key species.
  • The work provides the women a sense of purpose and connection to the larger environmental restoration effort, highlighting the importance of nurturing and conservation even in unlikely settings.

Key quote:

“When I told my family what I do, they said, ‘we’re so proud of you, that you are doing something that has such a profound mission in the world.’"

— Brooke, a butterfly technician and inmate

Why this matters:

The conservation of Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies is vital not only for the survival of a beautiful species but also as a bellwether for the health of our ecosystems. Innovative partnerships and dedicated individuals can make a significant impact on conservation efforts. Insects are in decline. How to avert the insect apocalypse.

Biden administration green-lights massive oil terminal
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Biden administration green-lights massive oil terminal, sparking backlash

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Senator Whitehouse puts climate change on budget committee’s agenda

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Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way

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Freshwater supplies dwindling due to human activity, studies find

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Wild fish host new viruses, including a coronavirus cousin

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Danielle Kaeding reports for Wisconsin Public Radio.

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Climate change impacts immune health globally, leading to an epidemic of diseases

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Economic and environmental strain affects rural Mississippi amid renewable energy push

Economic challenges and environmental worries collide as Mississippi towns turn to the burgeoning wood pellet industry in a bid to revive local economies.

Alex Rozier reports for Mississippi Today.

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