BCB Chapter 2 – An Unexpected Turn


During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the checkerspot’s population at Edgewood began to drop precipitously. Conservation biologist Stuart Weiss had been studying the insect for years, and in 2002, Dr. Weiss counted the last caterpillar at Edgewood. Although large numbers of the butterfly could still be found farther south in Santa Clara County, the butterfly had gone locally extinct. What could have caused this population crash?

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