Conservation Matters

"The mission of The Lepidopterists' Society Conservation Committee is to facilitate an international dialog among lepidopterists, land managers, and policy makers with the goal of enhancing conservation of native butterflies and moths."

In the Spring of 2007 an old committee of The Lepidopterists' Society was reborn to address some of the challenges facing the Society. Although Lepidoptera conservation issues shape the Society’s identity, the Society was always on the sidelines, reacting to events, both positive and negative, as they unfolded around us. With the encouragement of Felix Sperling, our President at the time, a few members explored the role that such a committee might serve to advance the society and its members. The initial goals identified by the committee members are to serve the membership of The Lepidopterists' Society by:

  • Positioning the Society and its membership as a resource for information on butterfly and moth conservation.
  • Underscoring that conservation (the wise, sustainable and equitable use of natural resources) warrants the Society’s highest level of attention by according the committee the same status as other committees (Membership, Education, etc.)
  • Using the committee to educate the members of the Society about:
    • The need for conservation
    • The values of conservation
    • The fact that conservation enhances ALL aspects of lepidopterology including collecting.

It is our hope that the current incarnation of the conservation committee reaches the lofty achievements of that first group of dedicated LepSoc members. That committee morphed into The Xerces Society, and has gone on to achieve many great things. Beyond all else, we hope to provide a real service to our membership though our actions.

The Conservation Committee regularly publishes articles about Lepidoptera conservation in the News of the Lepidopterists’ Society under the title Conservation Matters. Below are links to past and current Conservation Matters articles in PDF format.

Emerald Ash Borer Threatens Ash-feeding Lepidoptera
by David Wagner, Spring 2007

Status of the Monarch Sanctuaries in Mexico: March 2007
by Ernest H. Williams and Lincoln P. Brower, Summer 2007

The Butterfly Conservation Initiative, Developing a New Conservation Vision through Compound Eyes
by Stephanie J. Sanchez and Jaret C. Daniels, Autumn 2007

The Xerces Society: 36 Years of Butterfly Conservation
by Scott Hoffman Black and Sarina Jepsen, Winter 2007

NatureServe and the Natural Heritage Program Network
by John Shuey, Spring 2008

Rearing Mitchell’s satyr at the Toledo Zoo – a first step towards eventual re-introduction in secure habitats
by Peter Tolson, Summer 2008

Contributions from the Conservation Committee
by John Shuey, Autumn/Winter 2008

Efforts to Restore the Baltimore Checkerspot (Euphydryas phaeton) in Maryland
by Patricia M. Durkin, Spring 2009

Managing Habitat for Lupines and Rare Butterflies
by Ernest H. Williams, Summer 2009

Formal Protection of Lepidoptera species in Alberta, Canada
by Greg Pohl, Autumn 2009

Butterflies and Fire: Ashes or Phoenix?
by Scott Hoffman Black, Winter 2009

Are Butterflies in Trouble? If So, Why?
by Arthur M. Shapiro, Spring 2010

Lepidoptera conservation under a changing climate
by Astrid Caldas, Autumn 2011

An Essay to the Future
by John Shuey, Spring 2012

Moth decline in the Northeastern United States
by David Wagner, Summer 2012

How insects justified creating the highest diversity, large-scale grassland restoration in North America
by John Shuey, Autumn 2012

The committee’s thoughts on the “Petition to protect the Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus plexippus) under the Endangered Species Act”
by David Wagner, Todd Gilligan, and John Shuey, Winter 2014

Conservation and restoration for the endangered St. Francis Satyr
by Nick Haddad, Spring 2015

The imperiled Mardon Skipper Butterfly: an initial conservation success
by Scott Hoffman Black, Summer 2015

The beauty of butterfly nets
by Robert M. Pyle, Autumn 2015

Flying towards recovery: conservation of Fender’s Blue Butterfly
by Cheryl B. Schultz, Winter 2015

How to contribute to conservation by collecting
by Eric H. Metzler, Spring 2016

A conservation concern: how many Monarchs are there?
by Ernest H. Williams and Lincoln Brower, Summer 2016

North American butterflies: are once common species in trouble?
by Scott Hoffman Black, Autumn 2016

Speciation, hybridization, and conservation quanderies: what are we protecting anyway?
by J. R. Dupuis and Felix A. H. Sperling, Winter 2016