IUCN SSC Butterfly Specialist Group

Visit the IUCN Butterfly Specialist Group website

In 2010 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) re-formed its Butterfly Specialist Group and named Scott Hoffman Black, executive director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, as the group’s chair. In this capacity, Scott will work to bring together scientists and conservationists to facilitate butterfly conservation action and influence policy worldwide.

The IUCN first formed a butterfly group (then called the Lepidoptera Specialist Group) in 1976, with Robert Michael Pyle, founder of the Xerces Society, as its chair. The Specialist Group continued its work under the guidance of Tim New. Unfortunately, in recent years the group has fallen into inactivity.

At an IUCN meeting in Cambridge, England, last fall, Scott Black discussed his hopes that the Butterfly Specialist Group will prioritize work in countries and regions traditionally underserved by butterfly conservation organizations, so that meaningful progress can be made without duplicating efforts.

We have developed a questionnaire that will be sent to butterfly researchers and conservationists worldwide to identify species or regions in most need of help. We’d appreciated your help in better understanding what’s being done and who is engaged in butterfly conservation across the world. Please click on the link below to complete the survey; it should take less than 10 minutes to complete.

Take the Survey!

We have analyzed and compiled the results from the initial 161 survey responses. Click here to view the report. The survey will remain open to continue to gather information about new butterfly conservation projects and the individuals involved in those efforts.

Once this needs assessment is complete an action plan will be developed to prioritize individual species status assessments, surveys, and direct conservation action. Please check back soon for updates on the Specialist Group. If you work on butterfly conservation and wish to be involved and kept informed about activities of the IUCN Butterfly Specialist Group, please email butterflysg@xerces.org.


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Program Features
Program Highlights
  • • The Xerces Society has awarded two $3,750 Joan M. DeWind awards for research into lepidoptera conservation
  • Butterfly-a-thon pledges raise $30 per species that Bob Pyle observes for butterfly conservation work
Additional Information