Conservation and Research

Mottled Duskywing Butterfly Recovery

The Mottled Duskywing (Erynnis martialis) is a medium-sized skipper butterfly. It occurs in small, isolated colonies in southern Ontario where suitable habitat occurs. The species was classified as endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada in 2012, and then by the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario in 2013, affording it protection under the Endangered Species Act. Funding has been generously provided by the Species at Risk Stewardship Fund, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, and Conservation Halton in collaboration with Natural Resource Solutions Inc. to address key knowledge gaps identified in the Provincial Recovery Strategy for the Mottled Duskywing. The project involves the development of a species-specific detection protocol, data collection and habitat characterization for several metapopulations, and executing specific management actions.

Karner Blue Butterfly

Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is a proud member of the Karner Blue Ontario partnership and is currently sponsoring the research of Jesse Jarvis, MSc student at the University of Guelph, in conjunction with Wildlife Preservation Canada. Jesse is working to determine whether or not Ontario could once again support healthy populations of the Karner blue butterfly, a species that became extirpated from Ontario in the early 1990’s as a result of extensive habitat loss and alterations.

Restoration of the Kossuth Bog

Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is situated on a 107 acre parcel of land which includes a portion of the environmentally sensitive Kossuth bog. The Kossuth bog is an integral part of the Grand River watershed and is one of the last remaining spruce bogs in the Waterloo Region. Bogs play an essential role in moderating water flow by absorbing surface run-off and slowly releasing it. They also provide habitat to a diverse number of animals including songbirds, amphibians, reptiles and insects.

Costa Rica Habitat

In partnership with El Bosque Nuevo Butterfly Farm, 100% of the profit from the purchase of live butterflies is invested into reforestation and conservation of tropical rainforest habitat in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. By purchasing land, its virgin rainforest is protected from deforestation, wildfire, and pesticides; or replanted with native species. As a result, over 150 acres of rainforest are now protected and 112 acres are being actively reforested.

White Mountain Arctic Butterfly

Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is currently sponsoring the research of Angela Gradish, PhD student at the University of Guelph. Angela is working to determine the conservation needs of the White Mountain Arctic Butterfly in New Hampshire. The White Mountain Arctic Butterfly was recently classified as imperiled, meaning it is considered a rare species and vulnerable to extinction. Because of its very specific habitat requirements, climate change could negatively impact this butterfly species.

Community Involvement: Endowment Fund

Since opening in 2001, Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory has been dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of our natural environment. As part of that dedication, Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory established an endowment fund that is administered by the Cambridge North Dumfries Community Foundation. Income from the endowment fund is directed towards community-minded initiatives, including the establishment of butterfly habitats and conservation of imperiled butterflies native to our region.

Pollinator Habitat Conservation

Pollinators play a critical role in the maintenance of both wild and agricultural plant communities and without them we would see a loss in biodiversity and a disruption to the global food web. Pollinators include bees, flies, butterflies, beetles and even bats. Pollinators are considered to be in a state of decline and some species are facing extinction. Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is involved in several initiatives to promote habitat conservation including the Monarch Waystation project through MonarchWatch.