Butterflies and moths

Butterflies and moths make up the order lepidoptera, the fourth largest order of insects. These animals are beautiful to observe and make a valuable contribution to the ecosystem. From the grassland-dependent species of the Pacific Northwest to the showy swallowtails of Central and South America, the Xerces Society works to conserve butterflies and moths throughout the world. The Red List of butterflies and moths assesses the conservation needs of some of the most at risk North American species and assigns each species a rank based on its threat level. The Xerces Society administers a yearly award for research into lepidoptera conservation, made possible by a generous contribution in honor of Joan DeWind. The Xerces Society advocates for lepidoptera conservation through work with state and federal agencies, the use of the Endangered Species Act and the development of educational materials.

Visit our butterfly conservation program.


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milkweed butterflies
wood nymph (Cercyonis sp.) by Caitlin LaBar