Butterfly Specialist Group logo

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.

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.

The Xerces Society sent a questionnaire to butterfly researchers and conservationists worldwide to identify species or regions in most need of help. Over 161 survey responses were collected and analyzed. Click here to view the report. The survey remains open to continue to gather information about new butterfly conservation projects and the individuals involved in those efforts and can be filled out here.