Oregon Silverspot Butterfly

A close up image of an Oregon silverspot butterflyOnce common on the Oregon Coast, the Oregon silverspot butterfly, Speyeria zerene hippolyta was reduced to four Oregon populations by the 1990s and listed as a threatened species with critical habitat in October 1980. A revised recovery plan was published in 2001. At the time of listing, the only viable population known was in the Siuslaw National Forest on Mt. Hebo. Additional populations have since been discovered at Cascade Head, Bray Point, and Clatsop Plains in Oregon, on the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington, and in Del Norte County in California. Currently, Oregon silverspot butterfly populations occur at six sites, two in the Siuslaw (Mt. Hebo and Cascade Head).

The survival of the Oregon silverspot revolves around the early blue violet, Viola adunca. This plant is the only A image from a prescribed fire for silverspot butterfly habitat recoveryspecies on which the Oregon silverspot can successfully feed and develop as larvae. The decline of the Oregon silverspot butterfly is primarily due to habitat destruction but with key partners, we have conserved and restored habitat through active management to maintain grassland structure such as seed collecting and prescribed burning. Another very important aspect of the recovery program is a captive-rearing program was initiated at the Oregon Zoo.



  • Silverspot - The Flight to Recovery: Learn how the U.S. Forest Service has teamed up with a number of organizations to study and hopefully bring back this beautiful butterfly from the brink of extinction.
  • The Oregon Silverspot: A Habitat Threatened: Video created by the Oregon State University IDEAS Visualization Team with the assistance of the US Forest Service, Oregon Zoo and University of Washington Conservation Canines.
  • The Oregon Silverspot Butterfly: Video created by the Oregon State University IDEAS Visualization Team about the silverspot.


(Above): Video from the Oregon Zoo showing silverspot butterflies laying eggs at the butterfly lab.