Wake up with a Smile

Join our newsletter

San Francisco Man Single-Handedly Rescues Rare Butterfly Species Using His Own Backyard.

Tim Wong’s fascination with butterflies began in elementary school, when he helped raise painted lady butterflies as part of a classroom project. It then continued in the fields near his home in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he caught, studied, and raised other butterfly species.

That childhood hobby has now become a mission. Wong is working to reintroduce the California pipevine swallowtail, which had all but disappeared from San Francisco when development began destroying their habitats in the early 20th century.

Bored Panda

The pipevine swallowtail are only able to feed on one particular plant, the California pipevine plant, which is found in San Francisco. But then land development began destroying the plant’s habitats causing the entire pipevine swallowtail population to start disappearing.


So with permission from the San Francisco Botanical Garden, he took some cuttings of the plant and transferred them to a butterfly enclosure that he’d created in his backyard.


Wong managed to catch 20 of the fluttering ocean-colored beauties and transport them back home, where he released them in his backyard enclosure. They immediately began feeding on the newly propagated pipevine plants.

A post shared by Tim (@timtast1c) on May 13, 2017 at 7:03pm PDT

“Each year since 2012, we’ve seen more butterflies surviving in the garden, flying around, laying eggs, successfully pupating, and emerge the following year,” he said. “That’s a good sign that our efforts are working!”

A post shared by Tim (@timtast1c) on Apr 22, 2017 at 6:37pm PDT

Wong’s one-man operation has been so successful that, last year, he was able to bring thousands of the little caterpillars back to the Botanical Garden’s “California Native”exhibit where the life cycle continues:


Thanks to his efforts this gorgeous species has been saved from disappearing forever!

Watch the video below to find out more about this fascinating project, and share to spread smiles!

Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.