Butterflies on San Juan Island

For such small and relatively isolated islands, the San Juans boast a variety of unique historical, geographical, and biological features. As I near the end of my first summer on San Juan Island, I continue to be amazed by the new things I learn about the San Juan Islands everyday.

Aside from the Orca whales, bald eagles, and other unique types of birds and marine life that inhabit this area, San Juan Island is home to another rare species: the Island Marble butterfly, thought to have gone extinct for nearly 100 years before turning up in American Camp, a National Historical Park located at the southern tip of San Juan Island. The butterfly was spotted in 1998 during a routine field survey at American Camp, and since then researchers have conducted various studies on the Island Marble butterflies that live on San Juan Island and Lopez. Although not officially listed as an endangered species at this point, it is thought to be the only viable population of Island Marble butterflies in the entire world.

For more on the Island Marble butterfly and the ongoing efforts to study and protect it, see the link below:


…Or join Outdoor Odysseys for a sea kayaking trip, for a chance to see some of our other, (*ahem*) somewhat larger wildlife specimens.