Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

Tim Wong and California’s Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies

Timothy Wong is not only a biologist at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, but he’s also the reason why California Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies (Battus philenor hirsuta) are thriving around the Academy in Golden Gate Park.

Endemic to the Bay Area, the pipeline swallowtails, recognizable from their speckled blue, white, and orange wings, were still seen outside of San Francisco but were increasingly rare in the city.

When Wong learned that they only laid their eggs on Dutchmans Pipe (Aristolochia californica), he got a few clippings from the San Francisco Botanical Garden and planted them in his yard. He then worked with CalAcademy to plant more on their living roof.

Pipevine Swallowtail Butterflies
The 2017 San Francisco Chronicle video above shares the story. Follow Wong on Instagram at @timtast1c, and if you’re in the Bay Area, check out the California Pipevine Swallowtail Project on Facebook.


There are more photos of the butterfly at Vox: How one man repopulated a rare butterfly species in his backyard.

Watch more videos about butterflies and conservation efforts, or combine those topics in your own backyard and create your own waystation for monarchs or another struggling species.

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Butterflies and Moths of Tatama National Park

Rion Nakaya

Stoney and Silty, the Sediment Superheroes of Myanmar

Rion Nakaya

Why are Glasswing Butterfly wings clear?

Rion Nakaya

Chief Oshkosh and a history of Menominee Forest conservation

Rion Nakaya

Milly Zantow: Recycling Revolutionary

Rion Nakaya

Gaylord Nelson and how Earth Day got started

Rion Nakaya

Natural Climate Solutions: How nature can repair our broken climate

Rion Nakaya

Make a ‘3 minute origami butterfly’

Rion Nakaya

Inside a chrysalis: ‘Painting’ butterfly wings with CRISPR

Rion Nakaya