Good news though decades late: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed federal Endangered Species Act legal protections for San Diego County’s special Hermes copper butterfly. The Chaparral Lands Conservancy Director David Hogan submitted the first formal documents requesting Endangered Species Act protection for this wonderful little butterfly about 29 years ago in 1991 and wrote a second and much more though petition on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity [link] in 2004. Sprawl development, climate change and related unnaturally frequent wildfire, and chaparral-shredding programs by Calfire and the U.S. Forest Service are the greatest threats to the species.
“This butterfly is one among dozens of endangered species in San Diego that are extremely specialized to our unique environment,” Hogan said. “San Diego County has an extraordinarily high concentration of endangered species.”