An orange and black butterfly called the Quino checkerspot once flourished from the Santa Monica Mountains down into northern Baja California and could be found throughout San Diego County.
The butterfly is now on the verge of disappearing. Its last bastions include an area east of Otay Lake, poised to become a major new housing development.
There are at least three projects that may impact the butterfly’s habitat in Otay, home to some of the species’ strongest populations. One project specifically is coming forward and forcing the county to consider the butterfly.
“It used to be one of the most common butterflies in SoCal,” said Dan Silver, CEO of Endangered Habitats League. “Now it’s on the verge of extinction.”