The California Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor hirsuta) is a locally rare butterfly within San Francisco. Now, thanks to California Academy of Sciences aquatic biologist, Tim Wong, the butterfly species is gradually repopulating in the area again.
The biologist built a greenhouse for the butterflies in his own backyard. It had all the perfect conditions for butterflies to grow – sunlight, temperature fluctuations, and an occasional nice breeze. He also learned that the butterflies only feed on one plant – the California pipevine (Aristolochia californica), which was pretty hard to track down. After a while, Wong found the plant in a botanical garden, which allowed him to take a few clippings of the plant. Once his butterfly paradise was built, Wong transported 20 caterpillars to it and let them grow. Now, around 3 years later, his butterfly home is thriving, and he’s not stopping yet!