SOS! Half-moon hairstreak butterfly in distress!
The half-moon hairstreak and its habitat are protected under the Species at Risk Act
In Alberta, Waterton Lakes National Park is the only place where the half-moon hairstreak butterfly exists
It lives on a floodplain known as the Blakiston Fan
The area is threatened by natural disturbances
And invasive plants
Parks Canada and the Calgary Zoo are working together
To protect and restore the half-moon hairstreak population
Teams use monitoring, habitat restoration and research to understand the butterfly’s life cycle
These research methods play a crucial role in the butterfly’s survival
The half-moon hairstreak depends on some of the most beautiful wildflowers in the park
It relies on native plants like lupines for food and a safe place to reproduce
Half-moon hairstreaks are important to the ecosystem
Both as a prey species and as a pollinator
Butterflies are important indicators of a healthy habitat
They are beautiful and fascinating insects to observe
Each summer, Parks Canada shares the story of the half-moon hairstreak with visitors
By staying on paths and not trampling on plants
And by cleaning equipment such as boots and bikes to prevent the spread of invasive plants
You help protect the half-moon hairstreak butterfly!
A special thank you to the Calgary Zoo for collaborating on this project and providing footage.